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It’s Time for Flu Shots. By Our August Student Pharmacist, Eli Puckett, Who is Ready and Waiting to Give You Your Vaccine.

Hello, everyone! It is about that time of year again for flu shots, so I am going to give a brief background on the flu shot and why people should receive it.

The flu can affect everyone. The symptoms include fever, chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, and runny or stuffy nose.

The flu can progress to worse problems such as pneumonia and, in some cases, can even lead to death. The flu is not something that should be taken lightly.

If you are wondering who should get the flu shot, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that everyone six months of age and older receive the vaccine.  There are a few exceptions to this. You should NOT get the flu shot for the following reasons:

  1. You have an allergy to anything in the vaccine (often times this could be an allergy to eggs or latex).
  2. You have Guillain-Barré Syndrome (a neuromuscular disease).
  3. You are actively sick–you will probably want to wait until you feel better to get the shot.

The flu shot is important for everyone to get, but even more important in children, adults aged 65 years and older, pregnant women, and people with certain conditions (such as weakened immune systems).

The flu shot can be administered at pharmacies (for those 14 years of age and older), doctors’ offices, health departments, and clinics. There may also be other opportunities to receive your flu shot depending on your location.

The flu shot this year will cover three or four strains of the influenza virus depending on the specific vaccine that is administered. All flu shots cover two types of influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) and one strain of influenza B. Some flu shots also cover an additional strain of influenza B. There is also a high dose flu shot that is recommended for those 65 years and older to provide extra protection.

Side effects are not common from the flu shot, but nonetheless do occur. The most common side effect is soreness at the site where the shot is given.

A common misconception about flu shots is that the flu shot can give you the flu. People often think this because they get the flu shortly after getting the flu shot. The flu shot can actually take up to two weeks to take full effect, so people may get the flu before the flu shot has really kicked in at full strength. Another possibility is that someone might get a different strain of the flu that is not covered in the flu shot.

The flu shot should provide coverage for the duration of the flu season in most patients, although in children it may be recommended by the doctor that they receive a second dose during the flu season.

The flu shot is covered by many insurance companies, so stop by and see us to receive your flu shot and help yourself stay healthy this flu season. If you have any questions about the flu shot, do not hesitate to ask or give us a call and we will be happy to help!

For more information, follow these links:

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/vis-statements/flu.pdf

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2014-2015.htm

 

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