The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that everyone over the age of six months receive a influenza (flu) vaccine for the 2017-18 season. They are not recommending the nasal spray flu vaccine during this season because there are questions about its effectiveness in preventing H1N1 viruses. All other forms of the flu vaccine will help prevent you and your family from contracting the virus.
Why should you get vaccinated against the flu?
Influenza is a serious virus that can lead to hospitalization or even death. Millions of individuals get the flu each year. Hundreds of thousands are hospitalized and tens of thousands die each year from influenza. The flu is highly contagious and even healthy people get very sick from the various strains of the virus.
How to Prevent Getting the Flu
The best way to help reduce your risk of getting the flu is to get the flu shot. The antibodies in these vaccines provided protection from the viruses that research indicates will be most common during the 2017-18 flu season.
Other ways to prevent getting or spreading the flu
- Try to avoid close contact with sick individuals. Or if you are sick stay home and limit contact with others as much as possible.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Discard the tissue immediately afterwards.
- Wash your hands frequently
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. This is the quickest way to spread germs you may have picked up.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces or objects that may be contaminated infectious germs.
Who Should Not Be Vaccinated?
The flu shot is not right for everyone…
- Children younger than 6 months are too young to get a flu shot.
- People with severe, life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine.
- If you are not feeling well, you should talk to your doctor before receiving the shot.
- If you have an allergy to eggs or any other ingredients in the vaccine, you should talk to your healthcare provider before receiving the flu shot.
Where can I get a flu vaccine?
Flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers, as well as by many employers, and even in some schools.
Even if you don’t have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else, like a health department, pharmacy, urgent care clinic, and often your school, college health center, or workplace.
Check out this Vaccine Locator to find where you can get the influenza vaccine in your area.
Useful Resources for Influenza Information: