When should I get vaccinated?

You should get a flu vaccine before flu begins spreading in your community. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body, so make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout flu season, even into January or later.

What can I do to protect children who are too young to get vaccinated?

Children younger than 6 months old are at high risk of serious flu complications, but are too young to get a flu vaccine. Because of this, safeguarding them from flu is especially important. If you live with or care for an infant younger than 6 months old, you should get a flu vaccine to help protect them from flu. Everyone else who is around the baby also should be vaccinated.

Pregnancy and the Flu

Flu is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in women of reproductive age who are not pregnant. Changes in the immune system, heart, and lungs during pregnancy make pregnant women (and women up to two weeks postpartum) more prone to severe illness from flu, including illness resulting in hospitalization. Flu also may be harmful for a pregnant woman’s developing baby. A common flu symptom is fever, which may be associated with neural tube defects and other adverse outcomes for a developing baby. Getting vaccinated can also help protect a baby after birth from flu. (Mom passes antibodies onto the developing baby during her pregnancy.)

Protective Actions

  • Get Vaccinated

The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.

  • Avoid close contact.
    Avoid close contact with people who are sick. When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
    If possible, stay home from work, school, and errands when you are sick. This will help prevent spreading your illness to others.
  • Cover your mouth and nose.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick. Flu and other serious respiratory illnesses, like respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), whooping cough, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), are spread by cough, sneezing, or unclean hands.

  • Clean your hands.
    Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.

 

JORDAN & ASSOCIATES OB/GYN has the Preservative FREE  Flu Vaccine Available!

Call 757-436-2424 to make your Vaccine Appointment today!

 

References

CDC (2018). Influenza. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2018-2019.htm

CDC. (2018). Pregnant Women & Influenza. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/pregnant.htm

CDC. (2018). Preventing the Flu: Good Health Habits Can Help Stop Germs. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/habits/index.htm