081122 Influenza flu vaccine: what you need to know[1] Part one of two

[1] vaccine information statement from the CDC

081122 Flu season is upon us and now is the time to consider getting your flu shot. The main reason for doing so is because we are at risk due to our respective ages. We are old and vulnerable.

Influenza flu vaccine: what you need to know[1]

The following information comes directly from the US Department of Health and Human Services. Since I was unable to properly scan it in, the information was changed into a document using voice-to-text software. Therefore, if anything is not correct then it’s due to my use of this software.

Included in this series of vaccine information will be

  1. Why get vaccinated
  2. Influenza vaccine
  3. Talking with your healthcare provider
  4. The risks of a vaccine reaction
  5. What if there is a serious problem
  6. The national vaccine injury compensation program
  7. How you can learn more

1. Why get vaccinated?

Influenza vaccine can prevent influenza commonly known as the flu. Flu is a contagious disease that spreads around the United States every year, usually between October and May. Anyone can get the flu, but it is more dangerous for some people. Infants and young children, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions or a weakened immune system are at greatest risk of flu complications.

Pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections, and ear infections are examples of flu-related complications. If you have a medical condition, such as heart disease, cancer, or diabetes, flu can make it worse.

Flu can cause fever and chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, cough, headache, and runny or stuffy nose. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Each year thousands of people in the United States die from flu, and many more are hospitalized. Flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related visits to the doctor each year.

2. Influenza vaccine

The CDC recommends everyone six months of age and older get vaccinated every flu season. Children six months through eight years of age may need two doses during a single flu season. Everyone else needs only one dose each flu season. It takes about two weeks for production to develop after vaccination. There are many flu viruses, and they are always changing. Each year a new flu vaccine is made to protect against three or four viruses that are likely to cause disease in the upcoming flu season. Even when the vaccine doesn’t exactly match those viruses, it may still provide some protection. Influenza vaccine does not cause flu. Influenza vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines.

[1] vaccine information statement from the CDC

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