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Did you know that there are over 9.2 million cases of the flu in the United States each year? Approximately 200,000 people are hospitalized for the flu each year, and in severe outcomes, influenza can lead to death. Most individuals have mild reactions to the flu, while others are more vulnerable to the effects of the virus. Individuals at high-risk for developing flu related complications include young children under 5, adults 65 years and older, pregnant women, and those with chronic health conditions.

Annual Flu Vaccine

The annual flu vaccine offers the best protection against the flu. The vaccine not only protects those receiving it from the virus, but their community as well. The more people that are vaccinated each year, the more people that will be protected from flu cases and complications related to the flu. Flu vaccinations reduce doctor visits related to the flu, hospitalization, and missed school or work. High risk individuals should take advantage of the vaccination in order to reduce any medical complications due to the flu.

Although the flu virus can spread all year-round in the United States, flu is most prevalent during the fall and winter. Incidences of the flu begin to increase in October- February, so it is important to make plans for the vaccine in early fall before flu season begins

The quadrivalent vaccine is approved for anyone 6 months of age and older. The high-dose vaccine is administered to adults 65 and over as their immune systems is more fragile.

The flu vaccine is the best way to prevent the flu, so don’t forget your vaccine this fall! Flu vaccines are available at a wide array of health care facilities including your doctor’s office, pharmacy, or through your employer.

Take These Actions to Prevent the Flu

  • Vaccinate – Make plans for your whole family to receive your vaccine this flu season.
  • Everyday Preventive Actions – Take small actions to prevent the spread of the virus such as staying away from others that are sick, frequently washing hands, and avoiding contact with the eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Take antiviral drugs if prescribed by doctor – Antiviral medications make the flu milder and prevent serious flu complications.

 

Sources: CDC.gov. Lifework Strategies, Adventist HealthCare. The Health Tip of the Week is for educational purposes only. For additional information, consult your physician. Please feel free to copy and distribute this health resource