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Posts Tagged ‘Flu Shot’

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

 

The Flu and You, Part 1: Why Should (Almost) Everyone Get a Flu Shot Every Year? By Our September Student Pharmacist, Rich Carter.

Well, that time is now upon us again.

What’s that Rich? Are you talking about Buckeye football season? Or the major league baseball race to the playoffs?

No, I am talking about flu (shot) season! It is now time to start thinking about flu shots. Scratch that–it is now time to come in and get your flu shot or schedule an appointment if that would make your life easier. The flu shots are here–hot off the press!

There is a fair amount of talk out in the community regarding different kinds of shots and what type of shot may or may not be the best for you. We are here to help you with those decisions and make your flu shot experience as seamless and painless (well almost) as possible. Over the next couple of weeks, you and I are going to go on a short journey. We are going to cover some frequently asked questions and try to dispel some myths and misinformation regarding the flu shot. I will try to ‘arm’ you with the most up-to-date and proper information so that you can make informed decisions about your healthcare. As always, if you have any questions regarding any immunizations, don’t hesitate to call and ask us. We are here to help you!

Ok, without further adieu…

Why should I get a flu shot?

I am glad you asked that question! The flu, or Influenza, is a serious disease. The flu can lead to hospitalization and occasionally even death. Sometimes, people who are normally very healthy can get the flu and become very sick. It is estimated that up to 49,000 people suffered from a flu-related death between 1971 and 2007. Besides being potentially deadly, the flu is no picnic!

Flu symptoms can include:

  • Fever/chills
  • Sore throat
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Cough
  • Headache
  • Runny or stuffy nose

Some people may become sicker than others, but, typically, the people (or family members of these individuals) who must be the most careful are:

  • Young children
  • Individuals over 65
  • Pregnant Women
  • People with certain health conditions, such as heart, lung, or kidney disease or a weak immune system

If you are in any of these groups or have a loved one in these groups, then both you and this person should get the flu shot. If you are not in any of these groups or don’t know anyone in these groups, then you may need to get outside, meet people, and stop living in a van down by the river. Seriously, though, you should get the flu shot also, both to protect you and those around you.

I got the flu shot last year, so why do I need to get another one this year? I paid attention in biology class and they said that your immune system is capable of ‘remembering’ viruses so that it can defend against them in the future (sometimes years).

I say to you, first of all, great job for paying attention in biology class, because you are absolutely right, your immune system can remember a virus, sometimes for your entire lifetime. The problem is that the flu is always changing. Most of the time all three (or sometimes four) of the flu strains that the shot covers change every year. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) runs complicated studies to determine which flu strains are the most deadly and which are the most likely for you to encounter. Then, the CDC picks three to create a combination vaccine, which will maximize your protection for the year.

That is all for this week. Look for Part 2 next week as we will explore more of the information, myths, and legends of the flu shot. Additionally, if you want more information, all of the info I have given you and much more is available at www.cdc.gov/flu/.