Updated: Dec 14, 2021
Flu Vaccination & the CDC’s Guide on What You Need to Know
Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. Flu is different from a cold, and usually comes on suddenly. Each year flu viruses cause millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospital stays and thousands or tens of thousands of deaths in the United States.
The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against influenza (flu) is to get a flu vaccine every flu season. Flu is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, or even death. CDC recommends everyone six months and older get an annual flu vaccine.
Getting a flu vaccine this fall can reduce your risk of getting flu and help save medical resources needed to care for people with COVID-19. It’s important for everyone to do their part to stay healthy this flu season. Prevent the spread of flu and other respiratory illnesses:
Mask Up: Cover your nose and mouth with a mask when out in public.
Lather Up: Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
Sleeve Up: Roll up your sleeve to get a flu shot.
The more people vaccinated against flu, the more people protected from flu.
What are some key reasons to get a flu vaccine?
Every year, flu vaccination prevents illnesses, medical visits, hospitalizations, and deaths.
Flu vaccination also is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. For example, flu vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease.
Vaccinating pregnant women helps protect them from flu illness and hospitalization, and has been shown to help protect the baby from flu infection for several months after birth, before the baby can be vaccinated.
A 2017 study showed that flu vaccine could be life-saving in children.
While some people who are vaccinated still get sick, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness.
Why is it important to get a flu vaccine EVERY year?
Flu viruses are constantly changing, so flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests will be common during the upcoming flu season.
Your protection from a flu vaccine declines over time. Yearly vaccination is needed for the best protection.
Is the flu vaccine safe?
Flu vaccines have a good safety record. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years. Extensive research supports the safety of seasonal flu vaccines. Each year, CDC works with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other partners to ensure the highest safety standards for flu vaccines. More information about the safety of flu vaccines is available at www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/vaccinesafety.htm.
What are the side effects of flu vaccines?
Flu shots: Flu shots are made using killed flu viruses (for inactivated vaccines), or without flu virus at all (for the recombinant vaccine). So, you cannot get flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that may occur include soreness, redness and/or swelling where the shot was given, low grade fever, and aches.
Nasal spray flu vaccines: The viruses in nasal spray flu vaccines are weakened and do not cause the severe symptoms often associated with influenza illness. For adults, side effects from the nasal spray may include runny nose, headache, sore throat, and cough. For children, side effects may also include wheezing, vomiting, muscle aches, and fever. If these problems occur, they are usually mild and go away on their own, but serious reactions are also possible. Almost all people who receive flu vaccine have no serious problems from it.
When and Where to get vaccinated?
You should get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue throughout flu season, even in January or later.
You can schedule a flu vaccine at one of Memorial Hospital’s Rural Health Clinics.
Chester Clinic 618-826-2388 - 2319 Old Plank Road, Chester, IL
Monday and Friday from 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-5:00pm
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays 7:00am-5:00pm
Steeleville Family Practice 618-965-3382 - 602 W. Shawneetown Trail, Steeleville, IL 62288
Monday through Friday 8:00am-12:00pm and 1:00pm-5:00pm.