Have you received your flu vaccine? If you said no, pay close attention to the next question…
If you answered “yes” to the flu shot, way to go! If you’re still on the fence or planning to skip the flu shot, let me ask you another question: Do you know anyone who has already had or has the flu? How many people do you know have been sick since the weather turned?
December is National Flu Vaccine Awareness Month. According to the CDC, the flu vaccine is typically a needle to the arm, and it protects against the four influenza viruses predicted to be the most common during the upcoming season. While the effectiveness can vary, the benefits are vast. The flu vaccine helps you resist contracting the flu. If you do get the flu, the vaccine can reduce the severity and the risk of hospitalization. It’s been lifesaving in cases of child influenza infections. It is a preventative medical tool to protect you and the people around you.
Now that you’re aware of what’s at stake, let’s answer a few questions.
Where can I get my flu vaccine?
Your general healthcare professional should have the vaccine available. You can also go to most pharmacies or health departments to receive the vaccine.
When should I get it?
The CDC advises getting your vaccine in September or October, before the peak flu season hits.
Who should get it?
Everyone 6 months and older should get the flu shot, once a year. Children might be eligible for twice a year. There are only a few rare exceptions to this.
Are there any side effects?
Side effects include redness, soreness, or swelling at the injection site, low-grade headache, or fever. You might also have muscle aches or fatigue. Contact your doctor immediately if severe reactions occur.
Visit www.tchdnow.org or find them on Facebook for more information about the Tuscarawas County Health Department and their services.