FLU FACTS 2013-2014

What you need to know...

Who should be vaccinated?
Annual vaccination against influenza (flu) is now recommended for all people age 6 months and older who do not have a valid medical reason not to be vaccinated.

When is the best time to be vaccinated?
Vaccination should begin as soon as vaccine becomes available and should continue into spring, or until the vaccine supply is gone—whichever comes first. If possible, vaccination by October is preferred.

Is vaccine available?
Yes. Vaccine is available for established patients at all CapitalCare offices.

Are any vaccine shortages or delays expected this season?
No. Vaccine supplies should be timely and plentiful.

Why is it important to be vaccinated?
Influenza is a serious respiratory infection caused by a virus. It is not related to the common cold or intestinal viruses. Every year, people are hospitalized and some even die from complications of influenza.

It is contagious for 24 hours before symptoms even develop, and is transmitted primarily through the air we breathe. Vaccination is the best way to avoid illness from influenza.

Who should not be vaccinated?
Anyone who has had a serious allergic reaction to flu vaccine in the past, or a history of severe egg allergy should not be vaccinated. Many people with mild egg allergy can be vaccinated safely, and should consult with their health care practitioner. There are new vaccines available this year that are not egg-based.

The nasal spray vaccine, FluMist, should not be given to children younger than 2 or to adults 50 or older, or to individuals with certain medical conditions. Please ask your health care professional if you are a candidate for FluMist.

How many doses of flu vaccine are needed this year?
Some children under 9 years of age may require two doses administered at least 4 weeks apart. Please check with your child’s health care practitioner. All other individuals need only one dose.

Source: Immunization Action Coalition