We all know the symptoms – fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, fatigue. These telltale signs forebode several miserable days during some of the gloomiest months of the year.
Flu season is upon us, but it’s not too late to get a vaccination. The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and others against seasonal flu viruses.
While no vaccine offers 100 percent protection, the flu vaccine is a simple way to reduce flu illnesses, doctor visits, and complications such as pneumonia that may lead to hospitalization.
Vaccines Still Available
“Flu season most often peaks between December and March, but activity can occur as late as May,” Dr. Dan Jernigan, Director of the Influenza Division at CDC, said in a release. “We are encouraging people who have not yet been vaccinated this season to get vaccinated now.”
According to the CDC, it takes about two weeks after vaccination for the antibodies that protect against the flu virus to develop in the body. While it’s best to get vaccinated in the fall before flu season begins, it’s certainly better late than never. Not only are the standard flu symptoms miserable, but these symptoms can give way to more serious complications such as pneumonia.
“In all of our Bethesda communities, we offer on-site flu vaccines for all of our residents and team members,” said Larry Smith, President of Bethesda Senior Living Communities. “The health of everyone in our communities is our top priority, and flu vaccines are easy wins to prevent a nasty bug.”
Protect Yourself – And Others
One reason vaccination is so important is that not only are you protecting yourself, you are helping to protect others with “herd immunity.” If the majority of people in a community are immunized, this reduces the chance of an outbreak and helps protect people who might not be able to get a vaccination – including infants younger than 6 months and pregnant women.
In addition to young children and pregnant women, people 65 years of age or older are at high risk for serious flu-related complications, and these complications may lead to hospitalization or even death. That’s why getting a flu vaccine is the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your community from influenza.
To learn more about the flu, including how to get a flu shot near you, visit the CDC’s seasonal influenza page today.
Posted on Tue, December 13, 2016
by Becca H