With the cooler temps upon us, it’s hard to dodge all the chatter about influenza (flu) vaccination. The Rural Health Initiative cares about your health, so here’s a little information that will help clarify why getting a flu shot (vaccine) is so important.
Let’s face it, we haven’t met a single person who enjoys feeling under-the-weather, and no one really has time to get sick either. Let’s stay well and carry on!
Q: Who should get an influenza (flu) vaccination?
A: The Center of Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older and is considered the first and most important step in protecting against this serious illness.
Q: When should I get vaccinated?
A: As soon as the flu vaccine becomes available, ideally by October. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating in the community, it’s not too late. While seasonal influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, most of the time influenza activity peaks in January or later.
Q: How fast does the flu vaccine take to “kick-in”?
A: It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in your body that protect against influenza virus infection. It is best people get vaccinated as early as possible so they are protected before influenza begins spreading in their community.
Q: How does flu virus spread?
A: Most experts believe that flu virus(es) spread mainly by droplets made when people with flu cough, sneeze or even talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby. It is even possible, although less often, for a person to get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose.
Q: After all, what exactly is influenza (flu)?
A: The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. It can cause mild to severe illness, and can even lead to death. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.
Q: Do I have to get an injection (shot)?
A: No. The influenza (flu) vaccine can be given as an injection (shot) or through nasal administration (mist). Your health care professional can help you decide what is best for you. Options may vary by location.
Alright, I get it. Being vaccinated is the best way to prevent the flu.
Q: Where can I get a flu vaccine?
A: Flu vaccines are offered by many doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, and pharmacies. Some specific examples include:
- Doctor’s office or health clinic
- County health department
Q: Does the Rural health Initiative offer flu vaccines?
A: Yes. Registered Nurses (RN) at the Rural Health Initiative administer flu vaccines upon direct request for eligible individuals (anyone 18 years or older who contributes to agriculture within our service regions). The cost is $30 per vaccine, and we do NOT accept insurance. Requests are subject to availability as we have limited supply. If you would like additional information, contact the Rural Health Initiative via email at [email protected] or call our corporate office at 715-524-1488.
- Peak Flu Season: http://www.choa.org/Child-Health-Glossary/F/FL/Flu-Facts_KH_Teen
- Families Fighting Flu Poster: http://www.familiesfightingflu.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/07/FFF_Poster_General_FINAL_Outlined_lores.pdf