Friday, September 3, 2010

Flu Vaccine- It's Time AGAIN!

Last year's flu season was a scary, challenging time for all of us, thanks to H1N1 (formerly known as the Swine Flu). The BAD news this year is that we're already seeing some cases of the flu, but the GOOD news is that we already have this year's flu vaccine available, and it will provide immunity to several strains of the flu, including the 2009 H1N1.

When is flu season? Though typically we say October to January, we'll need to start with September and most likely extend beyond February this year. Let's be proactive and line up early to receive a vaccination, and then follow up with consistent hand-washing and STAYING HOME if we get sick! I LOVE that all our grocery stores, and many other public places now have the anti-bacterial cleansers positioned right as you enter their store- USE IT!

WHO should get the flu vaccine this year? The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has recommended that EVERYONE over the age of 6 months receive it this year, so we can avoid the near pandemic we faced last year. It is especially important for people at high risk of serious complications: pregnant women, kids <5 years old, adults > 50 years old, anyone with chronic illness (asthma, diabetes, cancers, etc.) and health care workers. I would add TEACHERS to that list, as well.

BOTTOM LINE: Don't wait- head to your doctor's office or your pharmacy for a FLU VACCINE now!
(PS If you are a West Lake Family Practice patient, we are expecting our vaccine shipment to arrive next week.)

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