Flu Vaccine 2015Flu Vaccine 2015

Approximately 5-20% of US residents will contract the flu virus each year. Flu season begins in the fall, peaks in January and February, and ends around May.  The illness typically lasts for one to two weeks and can cause problems such as pneumonia and dehydration.  Getting the flu vaccine is your best defense against the flu.

Even though flu season hasn’t started, the timing of the flu is very unpredictable and can vary in different parts of the country.  Shipments of the flu vaccine begin in July and August. This way people can be prepared by the time seasonal flu activity begins in October.

How To Protect Against The Flu

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone 6 months of age and older to get the yearly flu vaccine.  In addition to getting the vaccine, you can take everyday precautionary actions like staying away from sick people and washing your hands regularly to prevent the spreading of germs.  If you are sick, stay home from work and other public places (other than a needed doctor visit) to prevent spreading the disease.

Why the Flu Vaccine Is Important For Seniors

Adults 65 years and older are more vulnerable to the flu because the immune systems weakens as we age.  It is important for all seniors to get the vaccine. There are two options available for the vaccine, including the regular dose flu shot and the high-dose shot the produces a stronger immune response.  Talk to your doctor or health care provider to determine which works best for you.

Should you develop flu-like symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.  Your doctor may prescribe antiviral medications to prevent further complications from the flu.

When To Get Vaccinated

The CDC recommends getting the vaccine as soon as possible. The earlier you get the vaccine the better you can avoid lines or a vaccine shortage.  It is best to get the vaccine by October, but as long as the flu virus is circulating, it is never too late to receive the vaccine.

It takes about two weeks after the vaccination for antibodies to develop and provide defense against the flu virus.

If you are feeling ill with a fever, it is best for you to wait until you are better to get the vaccine.

Where To Get The Vaccine

Most doctors’ offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and health centers offer the vaccine. If you don’t have a regular doctor, there are plenty of options available – watch for signs at your local pharmacy, urgent care center or even your place of employment. Learn more about where you can get the flu vaccine.

Protect yourself this season against the flu and get your vaccine.  Most health insurance plans cover the cost of the vaccine.  Remember, it is best to get the vaccine before the season peaks, and the best time is in October.

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