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Have You Got Your Flu Shot?

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.  Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get the flu every year, hundred of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year.

There a multiple types of flu vaccinations available.  Some of which include the following options:

  • Trivalent vaccine - Protects against three flu viruses, two type A viruses, and one type B virus.  
  • Quadrivalent vaccine - Protects against four flu viruses, the same three as the trivalent, plus an additional B virus.
  • High dose vaccine - A trivalent vaccine, approved for individuals 65+ with stronger dosage amounts.  
  • Preservative Free - A trivalent vaccine that is egg free.  

The CDC recommends getting your flu shot in early Fall, before the flu season begins.  It is best to get vaccinated by the end of October, but getting vaccinated later is still be beneficial.  The vaccine does take approximately two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against the flu.  

Flu shots are available daily at the pharmacy. For additional information on this year's flu vaccine, contact our pharmacy or visit the CDC's webpage.  

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News About the Flu Vaccine

It’s really tough to stay on top of all the health news these days. We’re here to help. Since the flu season is right around the corner, here’s a snapshot of recent news stories about the flu vaccine.

Flu shot helps people with diabetes. The seasonal flu vaccine is now recommended for everyone 6 months and older.1 But for some people it can be a matter of life and death.

During a seven-year study, British researchers looked at a group of nearly 125,000 people with type 2 diabetes—people who have a higher risk of cardiovascular problems.2 In those with type 2 diabetes, the flu vaccine was linked with reductions in flu-season hospital admissions, including a:

·         30 percent reduction in admission for stroke

·         22 percent reduction in admissions for heart failure

·         19 percent reduction in admissions for heart attack

·         15 percent reduction in admissions for pneumonia or influenza

Among those who received a flu shot, the death rate was 24 percent lower than in those who had not been vaccinated. The study didn’t prove a cause-and-effect connection between the two. But the results are pretty compelling.

Limits of the flu vaccine “twofer.” How do infants benefit when their moms have a flu shot during pregnancy? Previous studies showed a benefit, for sure. Now we know how long it likely lasts. Researchers in South Africa assessed more than 1,000 infants whose moms received a flu shot while pregnant. During the first eight weeks after birth the vaccines were 85.6 percent effective.3 After that, effectiveness ranged from about:

·         25 percent at eight to 16 weeks

·         30 percent at 16 to 24 weeks

It’s helpful to know this because current vaccines don’t work well in infants younger than six months, and infants have high rates of the flu. Talk to me about other ways you can protect your baby. That includes washing your hands often, keeping your baby away from sick people, and making sure everyone else in your family is vaccinated.1

 Get your flu shot. If you’re like many people, getting a flu vaccination can easily slip your mind. But a flu shot is too important to get bumped to the bottom of your priority list. Every flu season is different, and every person responds to the flu in a different way. The flu can lead to hospitalizations and even death. The flu season often begins in October, so there’s no better time than the present.

Long-term protection. More good news? Another study has found that flu vaccines offer moderate protection for about six months. That’s the length of most flu seasons. The study’s findings suggest that a flu shot in early fall may prevent the greatest number of cases.

Want to get a jump-start on that flu shot instead? Well, then, October is your month. Call your doctor or us for your flu shot options.  We are ready if you need us.  If you do catch the flu this season stop in for your flu needs and talk with our pharmacist about your symptoms.  We are here to help.

Nothing herein constitutes medical advice, diagnosis or treatment, or is a substitute for professional advice.  You should always seek the advice of your physician or other medical professional if you have questions or concerns about a medical condition.

 

Sources

1.       What You Should Know for the 2015-201 Influenza Season. Available at: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2015-2016.htm  Accessed 8-13-16.

2.      Flu Shot Tied to Fewer Hospitalizations, Deaths in Type 2 Diabetes Patients. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_160085.html Accessed 8-31-16.

3.       Pregnancy Flu Shot Protects Newborn for 8 Weeks: Study. Available at: https://medlineplus.gov/news/fullstory_159719.html  Accessed 8-31-16.

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It is that time of year again when viruses and illnesses seem to spread throughout our work places and schools.  We want to know if you are taking precautions to protect yourself from becoming ill.  The flu is one of the more common viruses and one of the most dangerous viruses.  The CDC recommends that everyone receive their influenza vaccination, especially individuals 50 years of age and older, individuals with chronic health conditions, young children, and women who are pregnant or plan to be pregnant during influenza season.   Listed below are a few benefits when receiving your annual influenza vaccination:

 

  • Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick from flu. Protecting yourself from flu also protects the people around you who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness.

  • Flu vaccination can help protect people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from flu, like older adults, people with chronic health conditions and young children (especially infants younger than 6 months old who are too young to get vaccinated).

  • Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick.

  • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of more serious flu outcomes, like hospitalizations and deaths.

     

    We understand getting to the doctor to get vaccinated can be a hassle, that’s why our pharmacists are trained to provide the influenza vaccination to individuals 12 years of age and older.  At MediCenter Pharmacy we make it convenient to receive your yearly influenza vaccination, no appointment is required and we will bill your insurance.  For additional information on the influenza vaccination, visit our “General Services” page on the website or give us a call. 


 
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No one wants to get sick, especially with the flu!  So, how can we protect ourselves this year from illness?  There are some key factors the CDC recommends, which are very simple; however, we sometimes forget to do the most basic recommendations. 

The single best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated each year, but good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. There also are flu antiviral drugs that can be used to treat and prevent the flu.

1. Avoid close contact.

Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

2. Stay home when you are sick.

If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. You will help prevent others from catching your illness.

3. Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

4. Clean your hands.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

5. Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.

Germs are often spread when a person touches something that is contaminated with germs and then touches his or her eyes, nose, or mouth.

6. Practice other good health habits.

Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces at home, work or school, especially when someone is ill. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.

For additional information on how to protect yourself from the flu, contact our pharmacists or visit the CDC’s website, www.cdc.org.

 

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