Getting ready for flu season

Getting ready for flu season

By Anne B. Lipke, MD
Minor & James Pulmonologist

Influenza (“flu”) season is unpredictable but usually starts in October each year and peaks around January or February. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) currently recommends annual flu vaccination for all people older than 6 months. Getting vaccinated is particularly important if you or someone with whom you live has a chronic medical condition, like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Here are some things I want you to know about influenza and vaccination:

First, influenza is a serious medical illness that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Annually, up to 200,000 people are hospitalized for influenza. Sadly, the H1N1 outbreak in the 2009 – 2010 flu season caused about 12,000 deaths.

Second, influenza vaccination is the best way to prevent you from getting the flu.

Third, you cannot get sick from getting the flu shot! Some people have a fever or feel achy after the flu vaccine, but this typically lasts only a day and I hope that it will not dissuade you from vaccination.

Seasonal flu vaccines are now available in our community. Please, for your health and for the health of the people around you, consider getting one!

Here are some excellent links for information on the flu, its transmission and vaccination:

Comments
Anne B. Lipke, MD | Minor & James Pulmonologist
An OTC pain killer would likely decrease any soreness from the shot and I wouldn't object to anyone doing that, particularly if that's what is keeping them from getting the shot.
10/5/2012 2:51:06 PM
colleen daley
Is it OK to take a tylenol 325 mg before the flu shot? I thought it might help because I usually get a very sore arm. Thank you
10/5/2012 10:54:36 AM
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