Autumn—the season of harvests, homecomings, Halloween—and, influenza vaccinations. Flu season is here and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend getting your annual flu shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available.
An annual flu shot is needed because flu viruses are constantly changing, according to Mercille Lock, R.N., an infection preventionist at NorthBay Medical Center in Fairfield. Also, the protection offered by a flu vaccine declines over time, depending on your age and health.
Each year, laboratories around the world collect flu viruses to determine what strains will be most active during the upcoming flu season. From this information three virus strains are selected for the flu vaccine that is offered in the fall.
The CDC advises everyone age 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year. It is especially important that certain people get vaccinated, including pregnant women, people age 50 and older or younger than 5, anyone with certain chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes and asthma, and people who live in or work in nursing homes or long-term care facilities.
An annual flu shot is needed because flu viruses are constantly changing and the protection offered by a flu vaccine declines over time, depending on your age and health.
It takes about two weeks for your body to build antibodies after you receive the shot. During that time you may still get the flu. Whether you get your vaccination early or late in the flu season, you will be protected for the entire year.
Talk to your physician about receiving this year’s flu vaccination. The Center for Primary Care in Fairfield and Vacaville will offer free flu clinics in Fairfield and Vacaville.