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The Importance of Getting a Flu Vaccine

Yearly vaccination is recommended because influenza vaccines are always changing. Each year scientists try to match the viruses in the vaccine to those most likely to cause flu that year. Vaccinations will be provided to adults only (18 and over) at the clinics. Parents should contact their children's physician or the Division of Public Health for information about pediatric vaccinations.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that the following populations consider getting the influenza vaccination:

  • People 50 to 64 years of age. Nearly one-third of people between the ages of 50 and 64 years of age in the United States have one or more medical conditions that place them at an increased risk for serious flu complications.
  • People who can transmit flu to others at high risk for complications. Any person in close contact with someone in a high-risk group should get vaccinated. This includes all health-care workers, household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of young children up to 23 months of age, and close contacts of people 65 years and older.

According to CDC, people at high risk for complications from influenza include:

  • People 65 years and older.
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that house those with long-term illnesses.
  • Adults and children six months and older with chronic heart or lung conditions, including asthma.
  • Adults and children six months and older who needed regular medical care or were in a hospital during the previous year because of a metabolic disease (like diabetes), chronic kidney disease, or weakened immune system (including immune system problems caused by medicines or by infection with human immunodeficiency virus [HIV/AIDS]).
  • Children 6 months to 18 years of age who are on long-term aspirin therapy. (Children given aspirin while they have influenza are at risk of Reye's syndrome.).
  • Women who are pregnant during influenza season.
  • All children 6 to 23 months of age.
  • People with any condition that can compromise respiratory function or the handling of respiratory secretions (that is, a condition that makes it hard to breathe or swallow, such as brain injury or disease, spinal cord injuries, seizure disorders, or other nerve or muscle disorders).

If you become ill with the influenza virus, make sure to rest, drink plenty of liquids, avoid using alcohol and tobacco, and take medication to relieve symptoms. Never give aspirin to children or teenagers who have flu-like symptoms, especially fever, without consulting a physician. In some cases, physicians may choose to prescribe certain antiviral drugs to treat influenza. Antibiotics do not cure influenza, which is caused by a virus.


Community Education

VIDEO: Beebe Healthcare's Catherine Murphy, a Community Health Coordinator in the Population Health Department, talks with WBOC about the importance of getting a flu shot to protect those around you. 

FileFlu Story on WBOC.mp4

 

Beebe Healthcare is a not-for-profit community healthcare system with a charitable mission to encourage healthy living, prevent illness, and restore optimal health for the people residing, working, or visiting in the communities we serve. It offers services throughout Southern Delaware including a 210-licensed-bed hospital, a cancer center, and outpatient facilities at multiple sites providing walk-in care, lab, imaging, and physical rehab services.  For more information, please visit us online at www.beebehealthcare.org.