The single best way to avoid the flu is to get a flu vaccination each season.
Do I have the flu?
Common symptoms of the flu include:
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Sore throat
- Aches and pains
How should I get the vaccine?
The flu shot is approved for all people older than six months. Some adults who are at higher risk for flu because of age or compromised immune systems can request a higher-strength version of the flu vaccine. Check with your healthcare provider to see if you need this type of vaccination.
Am I at high risk?
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu vaccine, but some people are at an even higher risk for complications from the flu:
- Children 6 months to 59 months (under five years old)
- Adults ages 50 and older
- Anyone with a chronic disease
- Anyone who lives in a nursing home or other long-term care site
- Healthcare workers
- People who are often in contact with elderly adults or the chronically ill
- Women who plan to be pregnant during flu season
Before you vaccinate
Talk with your healthcare provider first if you:
- Have a severe allergy — like an anaphylactic reaction — to chicken eggs
- Have previously developed Guillain-Barré syndrome in the 6 weeks after getting a flu shot
- Currently have an illness with a fever
Children younger than 6 months of age should not be immunized against the flu. Flu vaccines haven’t been approved for that age group.
Wiping out myths
We’ve all learned you can’t always believe what you read (or hear!), and the same is true with the flu:
Truth: Vaccinating can prevent and reduce illness and prevent time lost from work.
Myth: I should wait to get vaccinated until I have symptoms of the flu.
Truth: Flu viruses used in flu shots are inactivated, so they cannot cause infection.
Myth: The flu shot can give me the flu.
Truth: People should get a flu vaccine as soon as they’re available because it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop.
Call your physician’s office today to schedule your flu shot, or visit a local pharmacy chain that administers the vaccine.
If you need a primary care physician, call us today at (865) 673-FORT or visit www.fsregional.com/physicians.