Anyone who is interested in receiving a flu vaccine is encouraged to get vaccinated. In the past, however, there have been shortages of available flu vaccines and availability was limited only to those in the high risk category.
Someone is classified as high risk if they are a certain age or have medical conditions which would put them at risk for severe complications if they acquired the flu.
- Persons aged 65 and older
- Chronic respiratory illness or diseases
- Chronic liver or heart diseases
- Persons with H.I.V or AIDS
- Persons institutionalized
- Healthcare workers who have the capability of spreading the flu illness to many
- Young children
It is best to get vaccinated for the flu before flu season hits so your body has a chance to build up immunity, but you can still receive the vaccine during the flu season, if it is still available.
The flu vaccine is currently available in two forms. The first and most common, the injection and secondly the nasal mist. If you are interested in the nasal mist option, you must first speak with your doctor. The nasal mist is not an option for everyone as certain conditions prohibit its use.
There are certain people who cannot receive the flu vaccine. The vaccine is grown inside eggs so anyone who is allergic to eggs or egg products cannot have a flu vaccine. Children under the age of six months should not have the vaccine, unless instructed by a doctor. If you have a fever at the time you would be getting the vaccine, you cannot get the vaccine. If you’ve had a previous reaction from a flu vaccine, you should not attempt to be vaccinated again.
According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, averages of 36,000 people per year in the U.S. die from influenza. Millions of people in the U.S. acquire the flu virus and more than 200,000 have to be hospitalized.
In addition to having yourself and your family vaccinated for the flu, there are several ways to help prevent other respiratory illnesses.
Stay away from people who are sick. This includes you when you are sick. Stay at home so that you don’t go passing around your germs. Keep you kids home from school when they are sick. Use a tissue and cover your mouth and nose when you sneeze or cough. Make sure to wash your hands frequently and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Hand sanitizers work great at home and on the go and make sure you and your family is getting plenty of rest and good nutrition.