It’s National Influenza Vaccination Week!

Influenza, also known as the seasonal flu, occurs from a virus which can cause mild to severe symptoms depending on the strain of virus contracted. Each year the severity of the illness varies, but every year it kills. Keep yourself and your loved ones out of harms way this year by getting your annual flu shot.

The flu shot can help protect you against the most common strains of flu virus. People who should strongly consider getting the flu shot are those that are immunocompromised (on chemotherapy or long term steroids), have lung disease (like COPD or asthma), and those that are or have come in close contact with people who are elderly or very young.

People that cannot get the flu shot are those that have an allergy to eggs or those that have had a severe allergic reaction to the flu shot in the past. Also, babies cannot get the flu shot until they are 6 months of age. So they are unprotected from the flu virus itself. Those close to babies under 6 months of age are encouraged to get immunized for the flu to help protect the baby from getting exposed to the pathogen.

There always seems to be a debate on vaccinations, whether it be routine childhood immunizations or the annual flu shot. There are some people that are convinced that the flu shot “got them sick.” However, the flu shot itself is an inactivated virus and it is not live. The side effects that people can experience are not you getting sick but rather your immune system reacting to the vaccine itself. Some people have the unfortunate luck of going to a medical facility to obtain their flu shot and subsequently becoming exposed to an illness at the facility.

The flu shot is available at most physician offices but is always available at your local pharmacy. Don’t risk putting your loved ones at risk this season with the flu. Get immunized today and enjoy being free of the flu.

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