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Posts Tagged ‘Flu shots’

Flu Shot Season. By Our August Student Pharmacist, Moe Hamad.

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Summer is almost over and fall is just around the corner. With fall well on its way so is flu season.

The flu virus is highly contagious so it is very important to protect yourself. Once someone has the flu it is easy to spread around. Sneezing or coughing without covering your mouth and not washing your hands can cause the flu to spread. Getting the flu shot every year is important to ensure adequate protection.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends anyone six months and older get the flu shot as soon as possible to promote “herd immunity”. Herd immunity is just a fancy way of saying we can stop the spread of a particular disease if enough people get vaccinated.

Why get vaccinated every year?

Yearly vaccines are needed because the flu virus changes; therefore, one year the flu might be just one strain of virus and some years it might be more (this year the CDC has decided to provide a vaccine to combat four strains of the virus). Every year the CDC does studies to predict the most likely strains of the flu and design a vaccine against the top strains.

How long does it take for the flu shot to work?

After getting the flu shot, it can take up to two weeks for the body to generate antibodies that are strong enough to fight any potential infection. Because of this time period before antibodies are produced, it is important to get the flu shot as soon as possible!

It is estimated that the flu causes U.S. employees to miss approximately 17 million workdays at an estimated $7 billion a year in sick days and lost productivity.

What happens if I get the flu?

If you get the flu, you are reduced to symptom management; over-the-counter Tylenol or Motrin, as well as increasing fluid intake (drink more water!).

Early possible signs to watch out for include:

  • fever
  • chills
  • muscle aches
  • cough
  • congestion/runny nose
  • headaches
  • fatigue.

Here are some friendly tips to help prevent spreading the flu:

  1. Cover your mouth when you sneeze using the “vampire method” (cover your mouth with your arm, similar to a vampire peering over their cloaked arm).
  2. Apply hand sanitizer after eating or using the bathroom.
  3. Avoid contact with people who have the flu.

Most insurances cover the cost of a flu vaccine. If you’re over the age of seven-years-old, you can stop by a pharmacy and have the vaccine administered.

As always if you have any questions, stop by Plain City Druggist and ask our friendly staff! Stay safe Plain City and Go Buckeyes!!

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It’s Time to Get a Flu Shot. Here’s All You Need to Know. By Our October Student Pharmacist, Sarah Redmond.

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There’s a chill in the air and now that the weather is turning cold people are starting to get sick. The best way to protect yourself this season is to get your flu shot.

I know you may have some questions, however, so I’m here to answer all your questions about the flu shot.

Q: Who should get the flu shot?

A: Everyone over the age of 6 months! There are also some people who are more likely to get the flu or who might get it more severely than others–these people are “high risk individuals.”

High risk individuals include:

  • Children under 5
  • Adults over 65
  • Pregnant women
  • Residents of nursing homes or long-term care facilities
  • Health care workers
  • Patients with certain chronic diseases

High risk individuals should take extra care to get their flu shot each year. 

Q: What does the flu shot protect against?

A: The flu vaccine protects you from getting the flu this year, however its benefits are even greater than just prevention. It is proven that getting the flu shot can help you stay out of the hospital- especially if you have a common chronic disease like heart disease, diabetes, or COPD.

For pregnant women, the flu shot not only protects moms, but also protects babies while they’re growing and after they’re born.

If you do still happen to get the flu, the vaccine will help your body fight it off, resulting in a milder, shorter illness. 

Q: Why are there different types of flu vaccine? Which one is best for me?

A: There are three popular types of the flu shot you may hear about.

  • Tri-valent: Protects you against the three most popular strains of the flu.
  • Quad-valent: Protects you against four strains of flu- the same three as the tri-valent plus one more.
  • High Dose: Approved for adults over 65, the high dose flu vaccine contains four times as much antigen, the part of the flu that teaches the body how to recognize and fight the virus, as the normal tri-valent vaccine.

Depending on your age, chronic disease states, and insurance coverage, a pharmacist or student pharmacist can help you pick which vaccine is right for you.

Q: I got my flu shot last year, do I need one this year?

A: Yes! The flu shot changes each year. Scientists use information from the previous year and other parts of the world to predict which flu viruses will be most popular and make the vaccine accordingly.

Q: How long does it take to work?

A: It takes about two weeks after vaccination to be fully protected. During these two weeks the vaccine is teaching your body how to recognize and fight the flu virus in the future. 

Q: Will it give me the flu?

A: No. The viruses used to make the flu shot have been killed and structures broken apart. This makes the vaccine inactivated, which means it will not give you the flu. 

Q: What type of side effects should I expect?

A: Sometimes after the flu shot your arm may be a little achy, with redness and swelling at the injection site. Because the vaccine is teaching your body how to fight the flu, you could also have a very low fever, but this should go away within two days. 

Q: Will it hurt?

A: This year you can only get the flu vaccine by injection. In past years, a nasal spray has been available, but it was not as effective so it should not be used. The injection should take only a few seconds and only feel like a pinch. Make sure to relax your arm down by your side as it will help the shot hurt less.

Q: Do I have to make an appointment to get one?

A: No! Any certified Pharmacist or Student Pharmacist can administer the flu shot to anyone over the age of 7 without a prescription. You can get your flu shot here at Plain City Druggist whenever you stop by.

If you have additional questions about the flu vaccine, please feel free to talk to the Pharmacist or Student Pharmacist at Plain City Druggist or Happy Druggist today!

References:

DO I NEED A FLU VACCINATION? [INFOGRAPHIC]. West Corporation. https://www.televox.com/do-i-need-a-flu-vaccination-infographic/. Posted on November 28, 2012. Accessed October 16, 2016.

Influenza (Flu). Centers for Disease Control and PreventionNational Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD). Atlanta, Ga. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm. Last Updated October 14, 2016. Accessed October 16, 2016.

 

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