Benefits of a Flu Shot: Flu Season – It’s just around the corner – or possibly here.

Benefits of a Flu Shot:
Flu Season – It’s just around the corner – or possibly here.

While the days can tend to be warm, we are back to school and there are many reminders that flu season is just around the corner. Medical trends show that while flu season peaks in the northern hemisphere from December thru March, documented cases of the flu are reported beginning in October and lasting thru May.

The Centers for Disease Control recommend that everyone over 6 months of age should get an annual flu vaccine. Having received a flu shot in prior years does not protect you from the coming flu, because the flu virus is always changing. Pharmaceutical companies do their best to predict which common flu strains are likely to impact us each year.

It is important to remember that it takes two weeks from the date you receive your flu shot for your body to produce the necessary antibodies to protect you from the flu. Therefore, it is important to get the vaccine before people around you are sick!

While everyone should consider getting a flu shot, certain individuals are more at risk of developing serious complications from the flu. This includes children younger than 5, and especially those under 2 years of age, adults age 65 and older, and pregnant women.  Also, all people who suffer from asthma, neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions (such as cerebral palsy, epilepsy, stroke, intellectual disability, moderate to severe developmental delay, muscular dystrophy, or spinal cord injury), chronic lung disease, heart disease, blood disorders, diabetes, kidney or liver disorders, and those with already weakened immune systems are at greater risk of severe complications.

In addition, anyone who is a caregiver to another person should get vaccinated to avoid spreading the flu to those who rely on their care.

Some people should not get a flu vaccine, specifically anyone with an allergy to gelatin, antibiotics, or eggs, and anyone who has had Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Please check with your health care provider for availability, and precautions.

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