Flu-Fighting Facts - imperialbeachnewsca.com: Health And Wellness

Health Officials Say Now is The Time to Get Your Flu Shot

No appointment is needed to get a flu vaccine on October 4th, and no other vaccinations will be available that day.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention the 2017-2018 flu season was the first to be classified as high severity in all age groups across the country.

Health care facilities are getting stocked with the flu vaccine, which is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. It typically takes about two weeks for the vaccine to build antibodies and begin offering protection. "Vaccination not only reduces the risk of catching the flu, it also reduces the chance that you'll be hospitalized". That's why it's better to get vaccinated in September or early October before the flu season really kicks in. However, flu viruses also change, so the vaccines themselves are slightly different from year to year.

"We want Logan County residents to stay healthy this flu season, and getting a yearly flu vaccination is the best line of defense", Paula Beaty RN, Logan County Health Unit Administrator, said. Children 6 months to 4 years of age are considered high risk, since their immune system is still developing.

At least five children died from flu-related illnesses during the 2017-18 season in Florida, including West Palm Beach seventh-grader Dylan Winnik, 12, who died on January 23.

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The CDC is recommending getting your flu shot as early as possible, even though the flu season is not in full swing yet.

Reed said the vaccine contains viruses that have been "inactivated" and thus can't cause influenza.

It estimates anywhere from 9.2 to 35.6 million people get illnesses from the flu each year. Medicare Part B covers both shots, if they are taken at least one year apart. More than 80 percent of doses are created to protect against four flu strains.

Furthermore, a National Foundation of Infectious Diseases (NFID) survey was conducted in October 2017 for college students 18 to 24 years old who were now attending a 2-year or 4-year college or university. High-dose formulation flu vaccines (intended for those 65 years old and older) are not available through VA.

Though the injectable vaccine is preferred, federal health officials have approved the use of a nasal spray flu vaccine this season.

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