Vaccine: Still the best way to help protect against the flu Vaccination is the single-best way to prevent getting sick and spreading the virus to your family and friends and co-workers. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated this year; however, it is especially important for those at high risk of serious flu complications. Those high-risk groups include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older. In addition, vaccination is important for health care workers and people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to high risk people. Children younger than 6 months are at high risk of serious flu illness, but are too young to be vaccinated. People who care for them should be vaccinated instead. It is also recommended that children younger than 9 receive two doses the first year they get vaccinated. In subsequent years, they need only one dose. This is because many children younger than 9 have not been infected with influenza viruses previously and they need a booster dose in order to have a good immune response. The flu shots this year will protect against the H1N1 virus and two others. And, with 160 to 165 million doses expected to be produced this year, there should be enough for everybody who wants one.
Autumn is the best time to be vaccinated, before people start getting sick. The vaccine takes two weeks to be fully immunized, and the protection will last long enough to get all the way through flu season.
Remember the 3 C’s to prevent the spread of the flu: n Cover your cough n Clean your hands n Contain the disease by staying home if you’re sick.
If you would like general information about the flu you can visit the Health Department’s Stop the Flu Page at www.kanehealth. com/flu.htm or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.flu.gov/.
Provided by the Kane County Health Dept. kanehealth.com Find us on
Published on Nov 21, 2013