Have You Had Your Flu Shot?

IMG_1110Autumn is around the corner. Have you had your flu shot yet? Well, folks, ‘tis the season! I received my vaccine last week. This means in the next few days my body will have developed immunity to this year’s prevalent influenza virus strains. I feel safer already!

Did you know that every year the flu vaccine is custom designed to protect us against specific strains of the virus? Because influenza virus mutates from year to year, we all need to get the vaccine every year. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC) website has wonderful information about protecting yourself and your loved ones from the potentially life-threatening influenza virus. Visit the site if you have time. You won’t be disappointed.

Click here for the CDC.gov website. Flu vaccine is the headline at CDC this time of year.

I could go on and on about the miracle of vaccinations and the benefits of living in a time and place where we can be protected from diseases that plagued our ancestors, but today, I’ll just highlight a few key points. Hopefully, you’ll make an appointment with your healthcare provider or stop by your local pharmacy for your flu shot sooner than later.

First: Who Should Get Vaccinated?

The following is directly from the Center For Disease Control and Prevention website CDC.gov

Everyone is at risk for seasonal influenza.

Health experts now recommend that everyone 6 months of age and older get vaccinated against influenza. While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it’s especially important that the following groups get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications:

  •  Pregnant women
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  •  People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long–term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:       Health care workers; household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu; household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
  • Some children 6 months to 8 years of age may need 2 doses of the vaccine to be fully protected. Ask your doctor.

For a complete list, see “Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Influenza” at CDC.gov.

Second: Who should NOT get vaccinated?

Influenza vaccine is not approved for use in children younger than 6 months so they should not be vaccinated, but their caregivers should be vaccinated instead. And people who are sick with fever should wait until their symptoms pass to get vaccinated. Some people should not be vaccinated before talking to their doctor. This includes:

  •  People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
  •  People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past.
  •  People who developed Guillian-Barré syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously.

If you have questions about whether you should get a flu vaccine, consult your health care provider. Once again, for a complete list, see “Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Influenza.”

Envision Home Health is committed to protecting our employees, our patients and their loved ones from influenza virus. If you have any questions or concerns about your flu shot, please talk with your home care nurse or call our office 1-866-471-5733. We care about you and your family!

Check back later for Envision Home Health’s “Influenza Vaccine Myth Busters” where we’ll debunk the myths, show you some cool science and answer more questions about influenza vaccine. Until then, be safe out there and enjoy this beautiful autumn weather!

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About Melody Newey

Melody Newey is a Registered Nurse. Her twenty-five-year career includes, behavioral medicine, homecare, infusion specialties, occupational health, infection control, and her current role as nephrology nurse manager. She remains connected to her roots in homecare and still makes home nursing visits in her community. In addition to blogging at Envision Home Health, she writes for several religious blogs and grows a respectable garden. She lives in Utah and enjoys hiking the trails of the Rocky Mountains year 'round.

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