Local doctor stresses importance of flu shot

Flu season is upon us. Here’s what Vancouverites need to know.

Flu season is upon us. Here’s what Vancouverites need to know.

The Norfolk Department of Public Health is offering a free, walk-up clinic for seasonal flu shots on Wednesday, October 31.

It will take place on the second floor of the Police Department Thursday from 3pm-5pm.

Every person should get a flu vaccine yearly, with the exception of infants younger than 6 months and people who have a severe, life-threatening allergy to the flu vaccine or any of its ingredients.

It is a first come, first served basis.

"The flu vaccine is the most effective way to protect yourself from catching the flu this season", Papatya Tankut, R.Ph, Vice President of Pharmacy Affairs at CVS Health tells Bustle via email. But this simply isn't the case, and with less than half of the adult population in the US getting vaccinated each flu season - which coincides with the holiday season and cold weather - there's a good chance you're going to get sick. It usually doesn't arrive until January or so so this is early.

Make sure you get a flu shot - that's the message health professionals are sharing as flu season gets underway. "I am getting my flu shot to show folks that this vaccine is safe, effective, and critical to our health and that of our friends and family this flu season".

"We never know exactly what we're going to get", she said. Flu shots are available on a walk-in basis at the Immunizations Clinic located on the ground floor of the Sports Medicine Clinic.

"This year, for the first time, we are introducing a new vaccine for those aged 65 and over which will more effectively boost the immune system of older people, so that they are better protected".

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"Many people might conclude that if you are exposed to a virus and you don't get sick, it's because the virus didn't stick or it was so weak, it just passed right through your system and your system didn't notice".

A stock photo of a woman receiving a vaccination.

Your body may also not response to the flu has as it should when you are sick, as your body may not develop enough antibodies to the strains of influenza in the vaccines as it would when you are well. The reason being that the vaccine either has a killed (inactivated) form of the virus that is not infectious or it is made with proteins from a flu vaccine virus that is attenuated "weakened" and therefore can not cause the flu.

While it is still possible to get a strain of the flu after being vaccinated, it's not a very common occurrence. I know it wasn't from the shot because outside of the live attenuated nasal spray, all the other vaccines do not contain live virus.

While it's true that healthy people are at low risk for complications from influenza, declining vaccination puts others at risk. These include soreness, redness and/or swelling from the shot, headache, fever, nausea and muscle aches.

"There is no need to delay your flu vaccine if you have a minor illness with no fever such as a cold". People say it'll cut down symptoms by about a day or two, but, of course, if you have influenza, another day of grace is great.

Lastly here are some easy measures you can take at home to help stop the spread of the flu in Hays County: • When you cough, cough into your arm or hand. There are two things I like to emphasize all year round but especially this time of year. Throw them out and wash your hands.

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