Now is the time to plan for your family’s flu immunizations. The annual flu season usually peaks between December and March, but it can begin as early as October and last through May. The earlier in the season you get your flu vaccine, the better your chances of protecting yourself, your family and your coworkers from the flu.
Common symptoms of the flu include:
- fever and chills
- sore throat
- muscle aches
- runny or stuffy nose.
The flu can also lead to dehydration, pneumonia and other severe ailments.
Some people avoid getting immunized for fear that they will get the flu from the vaccine. Fortunately, you cannot catch the flu from most formulations of the flu vaccine. The most common side effects of the flu vaccine are minor and only last a few days. These include pain and redness around the injection site and a low fever.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older be immunized against the flu. Children, senior citizens, pregnant women, people with chronic conditions (such as asthma and diabetes) and people with heart, lung or kidney disorders are more likely to experience serious side effects if they catch the flu. It is important for people in these high risk groups, and for those who live and work with them, to be vaccinated against the flu every year.
Everyone should take these basic precautions to help each other stay healthy through the flu season:
- Cover your mouth and nose with your sleeve or a tissue when you sneeze or cough.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand cleaner.
- If you get the flu, stay home from work or school for at least 24 hours after your fever ends to avoid infecting others.
If you have any questions or concerns about the influenza vaccine, talk to your pharmacist or physician. You can read more information about flu shots from the CDC or the Iowa Department of Public Health websites. Vaccinations are quick, easy and can help you stay healthy. Flu shots, as well as other vaccines, are available at your localCarePro pharmacy. Our pharmacists are happy to answer your vaccination questions- connect with us today!