CDC States 2012-2013 Flu Vaccine is an Excellent Match

Have you had your flu shot yet this year?  Or are you one of those that doesn’t believe they’re safe, think they’re unnecessary or just never get around to getting it?  According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) this year’s vaccine is an excellent match for the flu strain making the rounds this year.  In addition, the flu strain that is expected to be prevalent is one that is usually associated with a very severe flu season.  So, if you think it’s a waste of time, the CDC will disagree with you, especially this year.   The strongest flu activity right now is in the south and southeast but this is just the beginning of the season and it will spread so a flu vaccine is valuable now and continues to be so later in the flu season.  As of early November 37% of the population has already received the vaccine and the CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 be vaccinated. Perhaps you believe that you shouldn’t need to put vaccines in your body and you don’t really care about whether you have to take some time off from work this year.  What about all of the elderly and children that you will come into contact with over the next few months, whether you know them or not?  Children under 2 and the elderly are most at risk of contracting the flu and of developing complications that can be very serious and even deadly.  Getting a flu vaccine is as easy as popping into a local pharmacy or lab testing facility, where no appointment is needed and the wait...

Flu Season Has Arrived – Are You Ready?

The flu vaccine causes more fear than the flu itself.  Based on last year’s H1N1 influenza and the tremendous impact it had, the possibility of a flu epidemic should inspire us to be cautious and get vaccinated.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that most people get the seasonal flu vaccine because that is the single best prevention available.  During the last four weeks, the flu has become “widespread” in 8 regions of the United States and we are still in the early stage of the 2010-2011 flu season.  The number of deaths due to pneumonia and influenza was 7.2% of all deaths nationwide which is slightly lower than the number which indicates an epidemic: 7.7%.  There are those who have clear, definitive reasons for not getting vaccinated, but they risk spreading it to the rest of us.  This means that shaking hands can be risky.  Did the cashier at the grocery store get vaccinated?  What about your neighbor who brought over holiday cookies?  If there isn’t a medical reason for refusing a flu vaccine, these folks are selfishly protecting their own beliefs while putting you in danger.  I know that I don’t want my elderly grandmother to contract the flu.  She can’t afford to get sick.  I’ve done what I can to protect her but she is still at risk when people don’t take the simple step of getting vaccinated against the flu.  According to the CDC the 2010-2011 seasonal flu vaccine is very well matched with the flu strains that are making the rounds.  Do you part, protect me, your family and your friends and get a flu shot. Written by...

Flu Shots Recommended for Pregnant Women and Unborn Babies

Pregnant women are often told to stay away from many medications and foods, but one medication could be tremendously helpful to their unborn children.  A study printed in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine showed that a maternal influenza vaccine can provide protection from the flu not only for the mother, but also for the newborn infant for the first six months of life.  Younger children and babies have a higher risk of complications from the flu.  Because newborns cannot receive the flu vaccine until they are six months old, this protection is critical.   Just as the vaccine does not provide complete protection for adults, it doesn’t for infants either, but the chance of the newborn catching the flu or being hospitalized with respiratory infections is significantly reduced when their mother has received the flu vaccine. The flu vaccine for the 2010-2011 flu season has been approved by the US FDA (Food and Drug Administration) and protects against three strains of influenza including the 2009 H1N1 flu which caused so much illness last year.  The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends getting a flu vaccine every year as soon as it is available to provide the best protection. Written by...