When you think of the flu – what do you think of? Fever, runny nose, coughing, a big box of tissues and mostly feeling completely miserable! It doesn’t have to be that way – you do have a way to quickly get some protection so that even if you “catch” something – maybe you are not as ill, and for a much shorter period of time. The flu vaccine is developed each year by scientists who carefully study the strains of flu in the previous year, and after MANY hours of study; a vaccine is created to minimize the illness and severity of illness in those people who choose to be vaccinated. The flu is found worldwide, and while in the US we may think of it as a “winter” illness, it is found in different parts of the world during all seasons – so while you may feel like it’s “no longer necessary” to get the flu vaccine here at home; if you are traveling to or through areas where it is a risk, it still may be VERY important to consider the vaccine. After all, you have probably planned and saved for a while to make this trip amazing and memorable – and you want it to be for the right reasons don’t you? Who wants to “always remember” their amazing trip because they spent their amazing vacation in a hotel room, eating room service and only hearing about the amazing beaches and tourist areas nearby?
Who should get a flu vaccine?
- Anyone 6 months and older
- Anyone at high risk if they were to develop complications from illness – those with chronic health conditions
- Health care workers, or those traveling to do humanitarian work
- Those who will be in large group populations or residing in close living conditions (i.e. cruise ships)
When is the flu vaccine available?
- Each year the new strain is available in late summer/early fall
How long does it take for the flu vaccine to protect me?
- Within about 2 weeks of getting the vaccination, your body is building antibodies to protect you and minimize either illness or symptoms
If people are still getting ill from the flu – you should still consider a flu vaccine.