Flu Vaccinations: People Are Getting It!

After the scary flu pandemic during the 2009 flu season, people raced out in droves to get the flu vaccine for the 2010-2011 season.  Finally!  I would guess that preventing themselves or their children from giving it to other people was not the primary reason for getting a vaccination, but that is the end result.  The increase, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), was due to a significantly larger number of children receiving the vaccine.  For most flus the population that is at the highest risk for contracting the flu and suffering serious complications is the elderly.  The 2009 pandemic reversed that trend causing more complications and death among the very young to everyone’s surprise.  The CDC speculates that this is the most likely reason for the increase in vaccinations for children and specifically for  Hispanics (11.4% higher) and non-Hispanic blacks (12.4 % higher).   The increase for non-Hispanic white children was lower at 3.8% but still boosted the overall numbers. I can only hope that this type of self-preservation continues.  Even if future flu strains aren’t specifically dangerous for children, they are active carriers of the flu, from not realizing that they are sick, to touching everything in sight and putting it in their mouths!  The record number of doses, 163 million, distributed to the United States and the increased number of locations providing them made getting a flu shot much easier than in past years.  People need to continue to be aware of the dangers of the flu and the community needs to continue to provide easily accessible vaccinations.  I’ll continue to get my flu shots early in the season...

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...

Swine Flu on the Rise: New Tests Available

The most recent Situation Update from the Centers for Disease Control shows that the number of cases of Swine Flu (2009 H1N1 Flu) has continued to increase and as of October 17, 2009, is above the Epidemic Threshold of 6.6% of the population.  46 states are reporting widespread flu activity and flu related hospitalizations and deaths are increasing and higher than expected.  The pediatric deaths due to flu for just the week ending October 17 was 11.   99% of circulating viruses are Swine Flu as of September 2009, however, as the flu season progresses different strains will begin to circulate.  Why should this matter? Find out about how to get tested for the Swine Flu.  There are many lab testing facilities located throughout the U.S. Don’t wait, get tested today. Article written by...