National Flu Vaccine Week 2008 runs from Dec. 8 through Dec. 15, so this is the perfect time to get your annual flu shot, if you haven't already taken care of that task. You don't want to get the flu, do you?
The flu is a viral respiratory illness that strikes thousands of people worldwide each year. In the northern hemisphere, peak flu season is fast approaching. The majority of flu cases each year strike in January, February and March, though the season actually begins in November or December and can last into the early spring, depending on where you live.
So far, this year, flu activity nationwide is light. But that can -- and will -- change quickly, once we get past the holiday season. Flu prevention is so easy to achieve with a simple vaccine. Yet, flu vaccine rates in even high risk groups like the elderly and healthcare workers are far below where they should be. Only about 60% of seniors get vaccinated each year, while even fewer health care workers (40% to 42%) ...
There is plenty of flu vaccine available for protecting the populace against flu syndrome this year. Many clinics and pharmacies around the U.S. began giving flu shots several weeks ago. Have you had yours?
Recommendations by health officials on who should get the flu shot have broadened over the last several years. Currently, anyone over 6 months should get the flu vaccine if they are not severely egg allergic or allergic to the flu vaccine by history. People over 65 years of age, young children, or those older than 6 months with a history of asthma, other chronic respiratory problems, chronic heart, liver, kidney disease, diabetes or immune deficiencies or who are pregnant are highly recommended to get annual flu vaccination.
Here are five of the most common reasons my patients have avoided getting the flu vaccine:
1) "I'm afraid of getting the flu from the flu shot"
2) "My friend got sick after getting a flu shot"
3) "My child may become autistic from the preservative in the flu v...
Have you seen the commercials for flu shots offered at your local grocery store? Or have you seen the signs outside the large chain pharmacies advertising that flu shots are available already?
Some businesses are offering clever incentives for getting vaccinated this year. There is one grocery chain which is offering 10 percent off your grocery bill if you get your flu shot while shopping. It’s an interesting way to motivate people to get themselves vaccinated. Quite a move to influence public health.
I remember the first year that I got my own influenza vaccine at a local grocery store. Shots were only offered during narrow hours and locations were running out of vaccines quickly. I stood in a line which spanned from the pharmacy area, past the meat area, and into the bakery area. That was the year I decided while standing in line to get the pneumonia shot in addition to the flu shot.
At that time, I had been rather motivated to get th...
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