Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine Offered at Healthy Directions at Giant Eagle
(September 20, 2013 - Carroll Township, Pa.)
The following commonly asked questions were prepared by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
What should I do to prepare for this flu season?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine is designed to protect against the three main flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. Getting the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available each year is always a good idea, and the protection you get from vaccination will last throughout the flu season.
In addition, you can take everyday preventive steps like staying away from sick people and washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading influenza to others.
How effective is the flu vaccine?
Inactivated influenza vaccine effectiveness (VE) can vary from year to year and among different age and risk groups.
How long does a flu vaccine protect me from getting the flu?
Multiple studies conducted over different seasons and across vaccine types and influenza virus subtypes have shown that the body's immunity to influenza viruses (acquired either through natural infection or vaccination) declines over time. The decline in antibodies is influenced by several factors, including the antigen used in the vaccine, age of the person being vaccinated, and the person's general health (for example, certain chronic health conditions may have an impact on immunity). When most healthy people with regular immune systems are vaccinated, their bodies produce antibodies and they are protected throughout the flu season, even as antibody levels decline over time. People with weakened immune systems may not generate the same amount of antibodies after vaccination; further, their antibody levels may drop more quickly when compared to healthy people.
For everyone, getting vaccinated each year provides the best protection against influenza throughout flu season. It's important to get a flu vaccine every year, even if you got vaccinated the season before and the viruses in the vaccine have not changed for the current season.
Why did I develop the flu after I received a flu shot?
There are many reasons why you might have felt flu-like symptoms. You may have been exposed to a non-flu virus before or after you got vaccinated. The flu vaccine can only prevent illnesses caused by flu viruses. It cannot protect against non-flu viruses. Or you might have been exposed to flu after you got vaccinated but before the vaccine took effect. It takes about two weeks after you receive the vaccine for your body to build protection against the flu. You may have been exposed to an influenza virus that was very different from the viruses included in that year's vaccine. The flu vaccine protects against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will cause the most disease during the upcoming season, but there can be other flu viruses circulating.
Do healthy people need a flu shot?
Anyone can become sick with the flu and experience serious complications. Older people, young children, pregnant women and people with medical conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, or kidney disease are at especially high risk from the flu, but children, teens and adults who are active and healthy also can get the flu and become very ill from it. Flu viruses are unpredictable, and every season puts you at risk. Besides, you might be around someone who's at high risk from the flu such as a baby, your grandparents, or even a friend. You don't want to be the one spreading flu, do you?
Will the flu shot hurt?
The very minor pain of a flu shot is nothing compared to the suffering that can be caused by the flu. The flu can make you very sick for several days; send you to the hospital, or worse. Whatever little discomfort you feel from the minor side effects of the flu vaccine is worthwhile to avoid the flu.
For more information contact Healthy Directions at 724-348-6699.
Anyone who has ever had the flu knows that the fever, sore throat, aches, coughing and fatigue can make you miserable. There is a quick and easy way to help prevent the virus from invading your household this flu season - get a flu shot.
Healthy Directions inside the Finleyville Giant Eagle is offering added protection this year by providing the quadrivalent vaccine which protects against four strains of influenza instead of the usual three strains. The quadrivalent vaccine may prove more popular for children than their parents since youngsters tend to catch the newly added strain of influenza more often.
"This four-in-one vaccine is so new that it makes up only a fraction of the nation's supply of vaccine," said Michelle Antanovich, CRNP - Family Medicine, clinical lead at the walk-in medical center. "It is recommended that anyone who wants a dose of the quadrivalent vaccine to get their shots early."
Healthy Directions will continue to offer the traditional flu vaccine that protects against the three strains as well as the quadrivalent one. The traditional flu vaccine is readily available. Please call to inquire about the availability of the quadrivalent vaccine.
In addition to the flu vaccine, Healthy Directions provides shingles shots and other immunizations.
Healthy Directions is open Monday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information, call 724-348-6699.
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