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Have You Got Your Flu Shot?

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.  Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year, hundred of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year.

There a multiple types of flu vaccinations available.  Some of which include the following options:

  • Trivalent vaccine - Protects against three flu viruses, two type A viruses, and one type B virus.  
  • Quadrivalent vaccine - Protects against four flu viruses, the same three as the trivalent, plus an additional B virus.
  • High dose vaccine - A trivalent vaccine, approved for individuals 65+ with stronger dosage amounts.  
  • Preservative Free - A trivalent vaccine that is egg free.  

The CDC recommends getting your flu shot in early Fall, before the flu season begins.  It is best to get vaccinated by the end of October, but getting vaccinated later is still be beneficial.  The vaccine does take approximately two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against the flu.  

Flu shots are available daily at the pharmacy. For additional information on this year's flu vaccine, contact our pharmacy or visit the CDC's webpage.  

 

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News About the Flu Vaccine

News about the Flu Vaccine

It’s really tough to stay on top of all the health news these days. We’re here to help. Since the flu season is right around the corner, here’s a snapshot of recent news stories about the flu vaccine.

                Flu shot helps people with diabetes. The seasonal flu vaccine is now recommended for everyone 6 months and older.1 But for some people it can be a matter of life and death.

                During a seven-year study, British researchers looked at a group of nearly 125,000 people with type 2 diabetes—people who have a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.2 In those with type 2 diabetes, the flu vaccine was linked with reductions in flu-season hospital admissions, including a:

·         30 percent reduction in admission for stroke

·         22 percent reduction in admissions for heart failure

·         19 percent reduction in admissions for heart attack

·         15 percent reduction in admissions for pneumonia or influenza

Among those who received a flu shot, the death rate was 24 percent lower than in those who had not been vaccinated. The study didn’t prove a cause-and-effect connection between the two. But the results are pretty compelling.

Limits of the flu vaccine “twofer.” How do infants benefit when their moms have a flu shot during pregnancy? Previous studies showed a benefit, for sure. Now we know how long it likely lasts. Researchers in South Africa assessed more than 1,000 infants whose moms received a flu shot while pregnant. During the first eight weeks after birth the vaccines were 85.6 percent effective.3 After that, effectiveness ranged from about:

·         25 percent at eight to 16 weeks

·         30 percent at 16 to 24 weeks

It’s helpful to know this because current vaccines don’t work well in infants younger than six months, and infants have high rates of the flu. Talk to me about other ways you can protect your baby. That includes washing your hands often, keeping your baby away from sick people, and making sure everyone else in your family is vaccinated.1

 Get your flu shot. If you’re like many people, getting a flu vaccination can easily slip your mind. But a flu shot is too important to get bumped to the bottom of your priority list. Every flu season is different, and every person responds to the flu in a different way. The flu can lead to hospitalizations and even death. The flu season often begins in October, so there’s no better time than the present.

Long-term protection. More good news? Another study has found that flu vaccines offer moderate protection for about six months. That’s the length of most flu seasons. The study’s findings suggest that a flu shot in early fall may prevent the greatest number of cases.

Want to get a jump-start on that flu shot instead? Well, then, October is your month. Call your doctor or us for your flu shot options.  We are ready if you need us.  If you do catch the flu this season stop in for your flu needs and talk with our pharmacist about your symptoms.  We are here to help.

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

Sources

1.       What You Should Know for the 2015-201 Influenza Season. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2015-2016.htm  Accessed 8-13-16.

2.      Flu Shot Tied to Fewer Hospitalizations, Deaths in Type 2 Diabetes Patients. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_160085.html Accessed 8-31-16.

3.       Pregnancy Flu Shot Protects Newborn for 8 Weeks: Study. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_159719.html  Accessed 8-31-16.

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You probably know someone that has been effected by the flu late last year or already in 2015. It is evident the 2014-2015 flu season is upon us. Typically, January and February are the months when we see the worst outbreak of the flu, however, this past December was one of the worst flu months in years. The CDC explained as of December all key flu indicators are elevated and activity will continue to increase during the coming weeks.

It is recommended that individuals who have not received their flu vaccination to still do so, as it may still protect from other strains of flu viruses. We encourage you to receive your vaccination next time you are in the pharmacy or schedule an appointment with your primary care physician.

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