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The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine is designed to protect against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. Getting the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available each year is always a good idea, and the protection you get from vaccination will last throughout the flu season.
CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine protects against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. In addition, you can take everyday preventive steps like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading influenza to others.
Yes. If you get sick, there are drugs that can treat flu illness. They are called antiviral drugs and they can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. They also can prevent serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia.
For further information, please call the Monroe County Health Department at (660) 327-4653.
Each year, experts from FDA, WHO, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other institutions study virus samples collected from around the world to identify the influenza viruses that are the most likely to cause illness during the upcoming flu season so that people can be protected against them through vaccination.
An inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
There are three different flu shots available:
The seasonal flu vaccine protects against three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. The current flu vaccine provides protection against the three main viruses that research indicates will cause the most illness this season. The flu vaccine will protect against an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus and an influenza B virus. About 2 weeks after vaccination, antibodies that provide protection against influenza virus infection develop in the body.
Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.
Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently. Even healthy people can get very sick with the flu and spread it to others. Studies going back to 1976 have found that flu-related deaths ranged from a low of 4,700 to a high of 56,600 (average 25,500). During a regular flu season, about 90 percent of deaths occur in people 65 years and older. In addition, about half of all individuals who are infected with the flu will not have symptoms but will be able to spread disease in the community. The “seasonal flu season” in the United States is usually from November through April each year.
During this time, flu viruses are circulating in the population. An annual seasonal flu vaccine (either the flu shot or the nasal-spray flu vaccine) is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and lessen the chance that you will spread it to others. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through that community.
The ability of a flu vaccine to protect a person depends on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine, and the similarity or “match” between the viruses or virus in the vaccine and those in circulation.
The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that could occur are:
Over the last 50 years, seasonal flu vaccines have had very good safety track records. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received seasonal flu vaccines over the years. The most common side effects following flu vaccinations are mild. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) closely monitor for any signs that flu vaccines are causing unexpected adverse events and work with state and local health officials to investigate any unusual events