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By Associated Press
National Onsite Corporate Flu Shot Services
How does the flu shot work?
Once you get the shot it takes about 2 weeks for your immunity to build up and the vaccine protects you for approximately 3 months thereafter. You only need one flu shot per year.
Thimerosal, vaccine preservative containing mercury, raised fears of toxicity, particularly in toddlers. To be safe, thimerosal was removed, and, recent studies have confirmed that the form of mercury found in thimerosal does not build up in the body.
These do occur, so tell your flu shot provider if you have an allergy to eggs or flu vaccine. If you have an unexpected reaction the person giving you the shot will give you a shot of epinephrine or an oral antihistamine.
Does flu vaccine cause the flu?
The Flu mist is the only vaccine that has a very weakened live virus but is incapable of causing the infection. The flu vaccine does not have a live virus at all.
From the October 2007 article "Put Vaccine Fears to Rest" was obtained from Andrew Kroger, MD, an epidemiologist and vaccine information specialist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Magazine. For further information, you can visit http://www.cdc.gov/ .
Who Should Get A Flu Shot?
Anyone who wants to protect themselves from the flu!
If you want to avoid catching influenza this season, we recommend that you get a flu shot from Midland Health.
- Adults 65 and older.
- Residents of nursing homes and other chronic care facilities.
- Adults and children ages 2-64 with chronic medical conditions, especially asthma, other lung diseases, heart disease, and chronic metabolic disease (kidney, blood, diabetes).
- Immuno-suppressed individuals over the age of 2.
- Children aged 6-23 months.
- Pregnant women.
- Health care workers who provide direct patient care.
- Out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of children less than 6 months old.
What Is The Flu And How Is It Caused?
Influenza (the flu) is a very contagious disease caused by a virus. A virus is a type of germ that is very small and acts like a bacteria, Antibiotics do not work on flu viruses.
What Happens When You Get The Flu?
Influenza is often called a respiratory disease because it damages the respiratory tract, but it affects the whole body. The victim usually becomes acutely ill with fever which can rise to 104F, chills, weakness, loss of appetite and aching of the head, back, arms and legs. The influenza sufferer may also have a sore throat and a dry cough, nausea, and burning eyes, and may be exhausted for days afterwards. When someone who has influenza sneezes, coughs, or even talks, the influenza virus is expelled into the air and may be inhaled by anyone close by.
Is The Flu Considered Serious?
For healthy children and adults, the flu is typically a moderately severe illness. Most people are back on their feet within a week or so.
For people who have health problems or compromised immune systems, influenza can be very severe and even possibly fatal. The symptoms described above have a greater impact on these persons. In addition, complications can occur.
Who Gets The Flu?
Anyone can get the flu. According to the American Lung Association, in 1996, over 95 million cases of the flu were reported. People who are not healthy to begin with are particularly susceptible to the complications that can follow. These people are known as "high risk" and should be immunized yearly as it is a serious illness and can be deadly.
How Are Flu Complications Prevented?
IInfluenza can be prevented with a high degree of success when a person receives an influenza vaccine. The viruses in the flu shot are inactivated so that someone vaccinated cannot get influenza from the flu shot. Instead the person vaccinated develops protection in his or her body in the form of substances called antibodies. The amount of antibodies in the body is greatest 1 or 2 months after vaccination and then gradually declines.
The influenza viruses usually change each year, so people should be vaccinated each fall with the new vaccine. October 15th to November 15th is the best time to get your influenza vaccine. However, it's never "too late" to get a flu shot.
What About Reactions To The Vaccine?
Most people have little or no reaction to the vaccine. One in four might have a swollen, red, tender area where the vaccination was given.
A much smaller number, probably more children than adults, might also develop a slight fever, chills or a headache, within 24 hours. Usually none of these reactions lasts for more than a few days.
In addition, adverse reactions to the vaccine, perhaps due to an egg protein allergy, can occur. Those allergic to eggs should be vaccinated only if their doctor believes it necessary, and under the doctor’s supervision.
Can You Have A Recurrence Of Influenz?
A person can have influenza more than once. Here's why: if you have influenza, your body responds by developing antibodies. The following year, a new strain of virus may appear. Your antibodies are less effective or ineffective against this unfamiliar strain. If you are exposed to it, you may come down with influenza again.
Why In Some Years Do More People Get Influenza Than In Others?
Every 10 years or so, an influenza virus strain appears that is dramatically different from the other members of its family. When this major change occurs, a worldwide epidemic, called a pandemic, almost inevitably follows. Few people have antibodies that are effective against the new virus.
What If You Already Have Flu Symptoms?
Flu symptoms include high fever (101 degrees or above), cough, sore throat, chills, and body and muscle aches. If you have these symptoms and think you have the flu, do not come see Midland Health, see your doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider.
Key Points To Remember
- If you are a high risk person, get your yearly influenze shot with Midland Health. It is covered by Medicare and some other health plans.
- At the first sign of influenza symptoms, see your doctor.
- Learn how to treat influenza in case it occurs despite your vaccination.
- Duscuss any symptoms you may have with your doctor.
Why Midland Health?
If you have at least 40 employees who are interested in flu shots you will have enough to do an on site clinic. The more people you have the more cost effective our services. If you have a very small group, consider teaming up with another local business or invite spouses to attend. We have technicians' nation wide to administer injections in all parts of the country. If you have multiple locations we can accommodate you. For additional information on Midland Health please go to www.midlandhealth.com.
In addition to flu vaccines, Midland offers a complete range of wellness services including health screenings and health fairs, health risk appraisals and coaching programs. Many companies choose to implement a health fair or wellness program at the same time the flu shots are administered. Others prefer to add blood pressure checks or cholesterol testing as part of the flu shot clinic. We customize the program to meet your needs. Please visit our web site for additional services that we offer.
The information contained in this Midland Health web site is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment, and the Midland Health recommends consultation with your doctor or health care professional.
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