Getting a flu shot seems to be an eternal source of controversy each fall.
You hear the eternal deliberations, the pro's and con's and even
a few old wives tales about receiving the much debated immunization.
But is the Flu shot right for you? This is the time of year to decide.
The immunization generally becomes available in September or October.
Some employers (such as
Campbell County Health) require the shot or other health precautions, while other employers incentivize
it, even offering to pay for the immunization and offering flu shot clinics
for their employees and families to use at their place of employment.
The following facts can help you make the decision that is best for you,
eliminate a few of those wives tales, and survive
flu season, too!
- Flu shots are made with dead viruses, pieces (proteins) from the flu virus
or without any viruses at all. You can’t catch the flu from getting
the immunization, although you may have a sore arm, a few aches or pains
and even a low-grade fever.
- Remember that you can be contagious with the flu for up to a week before
symptoms appear. Those with weakened immune systems are most vulnerable
and can also be contagious even longer. Flu is the top cause of vaccine-preventable
deaths in the United States.
- People with the flu can give it to anyone within about six feet. The flu
usually spreads when a sick person coughs, sneezes, or talks due to airborne
droplets of saliva and mucus. You can also get the flu by touching something
like a door handle or a phone with the virus on it. Hand washing (with
soap and water) is the best defense.
- Another method of protection is receiving the flu shot. It's recommended
that everyone have the immunization, but especially children, elderly
and anyone with a weakened immune system. The shot takes two weeks for
full effect and is good for only one year as the virus mutates regularly.
- Bundling up won't prevent the Flu, a stomach bug is not Influenza (A
or B) and antibiotics won't treat the Flu. Antibiotics treat bacterial
infections, not viruses.
CCH provides a list of places where you can get your flu shot, as well
as get some information on other ways to protect yourself from the flu,
and signs to look for when you should go to a doctor at
www.cchwyo.org/flu411. Flu shots are also vailable at all Campbell County Medical Group clinics
for only $40. Make an appointment today, or walk into the Walk-in Clinic
in Gillette, Wyoming. Learn more at www.cchwyo.org/clinics.
Campbell County Health's
Wellness works to reduce health risks and promote overall wellness among employee
groups and individuals across the northeastern Wyoming region. To learn
more about Wellness, please visit
www.cchwyo.org/Wellness or call 307.688.8051.
Rachel Wilde, PBT, CPT, MA, works at CCH Wellness as a Technician and Phlebotomist