Influenza Immunization: 7 Reasons Why You Should Now!

Thursday, December 1, 2016
  1. You can spread the flu even if you don’t get sick
       - 20 to 30 percent of people who carry the influenza virus never experience flu-like symptoms.
       - Young, healthy people especially need to get vaccinated because they often get infected and never know it.
        - Babies under 6 months can't get the flu shot, yet they are way more susceptible to influenza than you are.

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  2. It's available everywhere and is cheaper than ever before!
       - It's easier than ever to find a flu vaccine. Most of the major drug stores — Walgreens, CVS, Duane Reade — and even Target now offer vaccination, many without requiring an appointment.
       - To find the closest place to get vaccinated, type in your zip code at flu.gov.
        - Virtually all public and private health insurance plans now cover the flu vaccine.
        - 
    Especially now, since the Affordable Care Act has made it so many more people get insurance.

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  3. To save sick days.
       - An estimated 111 million workdays are lost to the flu each year, sending $7 billion worth of productivity down the drain.
        - If you get the flu, it is important to stay home (and not to go to work or school, where the risk of infecting others is high) until you are fever free for at least 24 hours. Getting plenty of rest and drinkings lots of fluids is the best way to recuperate.
        - The flu is highly contagious, the fastest way being touching, sneezing and coughing with as close as a six feet radius of exposure.

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  4. Prevention is the best way to not get the flu.
       -
    This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010 when CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for “universal” flu vaccination in the United States to expand protection against the flu to more people.
       - Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. Flu vaccination also has been shown to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes (79%) and chronic lung disease (52%).
       - Getting vaccinated can also protect a baby after birth from flu. (Mom passes antibodies onto the developing baby during her pregnancy.)
       - Washing your hands and coughing or sneezing into a tissue or a sleeve (as opposed to your hands) can also help prevention transmission of the flu.

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  5. There are many types of influenza and everyone is different.
        - First, the body's immune response from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, the formulation of the flu vaccine is reviewed each year and sometimes updated to keep up with changing flu viruses.
        - New flu vaccines are released every year to keep up with rapidly adapting flu viruses. Because flu viruses evolve so quickly, last year's vaccine may not protect you from this year's viruses.
        - There are two different types of flu vaccines, Trivalent and Quadtrivalent. Trivalent vaccines protect against two influenza A viruses (H1N1 and H3N2) and an Influenza B virus. Quadivalent vaccines protect against two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.

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  6. The vaccination does not work right away.
       -
     It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. That's why it's better to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season really gets under way.
        - While seasonal flu outbreaks can happen as early as October, flu activity is usually highest between December and February, though activity can last as late as May. As long as flu activity is ongoing, it’s not too late to get vaccinated, even in January or later.
        -  Peak flu season time is between December and March.

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  7. If you have flu-like symptoms or any kind of sickness some great home sick remedies include:
       - Breathe aromatic steam: Fill the bathroom or kitchen sink with steamy water. Drape a towel over your head and lean over the steam. You can add things to the water -- 2 teaspoons of chopped fresh ginger, a teaspoon of the over-the-counter (OTC) menthol ointment, or a few drops of eucalyptus oil.
       - Take a warm shower: Run the water with the bathroom door closed to make your own personal sauna. The steamy air opens your head and chest while it moistens and thins the mucus in your sinuses.
       - Get more liquids: Drink at least 8 cups (64 ounces) of liquid each day - it doesn’t all have to be water. Fluids help to thin out the thick mucus that builds up with this illness. Hot drinks may work better than cold. Avoid coffee, tea with caffeine, or alcohol. They can all dry you out.

Elijah Gil
12/1/2016

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