Avoid the Flu… Your Shot is Due

sbcountyHBy Staff Reports

(Victor Valley)– A seasonal flu shot is recommended every year for persons 6 months of age and older, to help protect you, your family, and the community from the flu. The flu is an illness caused by influenza viruses and is easily spread from one person to another. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and can lead to hospitalization and even death. Avoid the flu by getting vaccinated today.

This year, there are many types of flu vaccinations that your medical provider may offer. The most common vaccine is made from three influenza viruses (two A and a B). Newly available are quadrivalent formulations that contain the same three viruses and an additional B virus which sometimes circulates in the United States. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices does not have a preference of one type of influenza vaccine over another type.

A seasonal flu shot is especially recommended for these high risk groups:

  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People who live in nursing homes and long-term care facilities
  • People of any age with chronic medical conditions (including asthmatics and diabetics)
  • Pregnant women
  • Home caregivers and health care workers
  • Infants and children* age 6 months up to their 19th birthday

*Depending on previous vaccination history, children aged 6 months through 8 years may be required to receive two doses of influenza vaccine

In addition to getting the flu vaccine, prevent the spread of illness by following these steps:

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue and properly dispose of used tissues
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and/or mouth
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after a cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers may be used if soap and water are not available
  • Avoid close contact with sick people and stay home when you are sick to avoid spreading illness to others

For information about low- and no-cost flu vaccines, contact the Communicable Disease Section at 1-800-722-4794, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information about the flu, visit CDPH’s Immunization Branch website. To find a flu clinic, visit http://flushot.healthmap.org/.

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