Did you know that the flu vaccine changes every year? That’s because circulating flu strains are constantly changing. In order to keep up and help protect yourself, it’s important to get vaccinated each and every year.
An annual flu vaccine is the best way to help protect you against flu. Getting vaccinated has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children. Everyone older than 6 months can be vaccinated, with a few exceptions, such as people who have a severe allergy to the vaccine or any of its ingredients. Talk with your medical provider about whether it makes sense to vaccinate if you have an allergy to eggs, if you’ve had Guillain-Barré syndrome, or if you aren’t feeling well.
Johnson Memorial Health Services is holding several Drive-up Flu Vaccine Clinics this year. You can also request a flu vaccine at your clinic appointment.
Thursday, October 14 | 8:30 am – 1:00 pm
Monday, October 18 | 2:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Thursday, October 28 | 2:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Friday, October 29 | 8:30 am – 1:00 pm
Tuesday, November 2 | 8:30 am – 11:30 am
Why Get Vaccinated?
In the U.S., 5% to 20% of people get the flu every year. The misery of having the flu lasts for days and some symptoms can last for weeks. The flu also weakens your immune system, leading to secondary infections that can be fatal.
The vaccine protects you from severe flu complications – including hospitalization and death. It can also reduce the severity of your symptoms and shorten the length of your illness.
You can’t spread something you don’t have, so you’re also protecting your family and community from infection.
Flu Vaccine Myths
The flu vaccine can give you the flu. It’s impossible to get the flu from the vaccine since it uses a dead or inactive strain of influenza. You may experience mild flu-like side effects, but you won’t get the actual virus.
The flu isn’t a serious illness. Thousands of Americans die every year from complications of the flu. While the flu itself doesn’t kill people, it lowers your ability to fight other potentially fatal infections.
You can have severe reactions to the vaccine. It’s very rare to have a serious reaction. These reactions often happen within minutes or hours of getting the vaccine, so if you do have a reaction, you’ll likely be near medical experts who can treat you.
Healthy people don’t need vaccines. Just as you still wear your seatbelt even if you’ve never been in a car accident, you should still get vaccinated.
Influenza is the same as the stomach flu. The influenza virus is a respiratory illness that causes fever, chills, cough and fatigue, which are different from stomach flu symptoms, also known as gastroenteritis.