Ask The Doctor: Flu Shots

Good Day

Everyone needs a flu shot to protect from influenza! Get it early so you’ll be protected for the full flu season!

·Getting a flu shot is essential for children, who are the most vulnerable population for not only getting the flu, but
also for becoming critically ill and even dying from influenza.

·How important is a flu shot? During the 2012-1013 flu season (last winter), ACH had a total of 263 positive tests at
ACH, that includes inpatient and outpatient. We also had 1 pediatric death related to flu.

·Flu shots are absolutely safe! The CDC and the FDA endorse their safety. We know that they save lives every single
year, including those of children here in Arkansas. 

·We can dispel a few myths about the flu shot. It might make your arm a little sore, but it won’t make you sick.
If you become ill after getting the shot, it’s because you’d probably already caught something before you received the
vaccine. Common side effects include a little redness or swelling at the site of the injection and in a few cases, a low-grade
fever that resolves quickly.

·Who should be vaccinated against the flu? Everyone who isn’t contraindicated! The CDC recommends that a flu vaccine be
a priority for children under 5 and especially those under 2 years old; pregnant women; people over 50; people with any kind
of chronic medical condition; those living in nursing homes; and health care workers.

·Who shouldn’t receive the vaccine? People allergic to eggs; those who have had a severe reaction in the past; children
younger than 6 months; those who are currently ill; people with a history of Guillain–Barré Syndrome.

·It is available in the shot or nasal mist form this year.

·Families can also check with their pediatrician’s office for the vaccines. You might also ask your school because in
the past, many districts have made it available during mass vaccination opportunities.

·If you don’t get the shot, you’ll be susceptible to the flu, with symptoms including terrible aches, high fever,
cough, sore throat, runny nose and fatigue.

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