Protect Yourself...Fight the Flu!
Your Flu and Pneumococcal Headquarters
One of the best ways to protect yourself from getting the flu is to get vaccinated!
Medicare B and most Medicare Advantage Plans
cover the costs of flu and pneumonia vaccinations. Click here
for a complete list of participating Medicare Advantage Plans.
Why should you consider getting a flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine can greatly reduce your chance of getting the flu, the seriousness of it if it is contracted, and reduce your risk of developing complications, which can be fatal. The flu shot contains 3 strains of inactivated flu viruses that help the body build immunity to the flu. Later, when you come in contact with the flu virus, your body protects you, and you either do not develop the flu, or develop a mild case.
How does the seasonal flu vaccine work?
The 2012-13 Seasonal Flu Vaccine protects against three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. Again for this year, the vaccine protects against the 2009 H1N1, and two other influenza viruses (an H3N2 virus and an influenza B virus). According to the CDC, the viruses in the vaccine change each year based on international surveillance and scientists' estimations about which types and strains of viruses will circulate in a given year. About 2 weeks after vaccination, antibodies that provide protection against influenza virus infection develop in the body.
How many shots will I need to be protected?
Most people will only need one flu shot in the 2012-2013 season, and remember. Some children under age 9 years may need two vaccines depending on their vaccine history. Talk to your doctor for more information.
Should I get this year’s Seasonal Flu Vaccine even if I was vaccinated before?
Yes. The CDC recommends you get the 2011-12 seasonal flu vaccine even if you got the seasonal flu shot last fall, or if you got the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine a couple years ago.
What are symptoms of the Flu?
Flu-like symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue. Some people may also have vomiting and diarrhea.
What’s the difference between a cold and the flu?
The symptoms are similar. Colds are usually milder than the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose. Generally, the flu is worse than the common cold, and symptoms such as fever, body aches, extreme tiredness, and dry cough are more common and intense. Colds generally do not result in serious health problems, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, or hospitalizations.
Why consider getting Pneumovax?
Another vaccine (Pneumovax) is available at our Community Flu Clinics and at Wheaton Franciscan Medical Group offices to help reduce your chances in developing infections caused by the pneumococcal bacteria. This bacteria is responsible for meningitis, bacteriemia (infection in the blood), pneumonia, and ear infections. It can also complicate an influenza infection. This vaccine is recommended for people aged 65 and up as a one-time dose and for some children and adults with certain chronic conditions.