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‘Tis the Season to Get a Flu Shot!

Communicable Disease Program Manager Kayla Scrivner
by Kayla Scrivner11/29/2018 10:52 a.m.
Updated: 11/29/2018

Thanksgiving is behind us, and the holiday shopping season is in full swing. So is flu season. Give the people on your list a crowd-pleasing gift.

Get a flu shot.

Why is a flu shot the perfect present? It protects you and everyone around you from the virus. What could be better than the gift of good health for the holidays? And you won’t have to scour the mall or online retailers to find it.

You can get a flu shot at little to no cost—most insurance covers it. Your healthcare provider, medical clinics, and area pharmacies offer the flu and other vaccines. Schedule an appointment, roll up your sleeve, and do your part to fight the flu in Pierce County! Find locations to get vaccines near you.

People who can’t get a flu shot for medical reasons or who are at higher risk of complications need all the protection they can get. We do our part to protect them and ourselves from the virus when we get vaccinated because vaccines work best when more people have them. That’s community immunity. Getting a flu shot is the neighborly thing to do.

Facts about the flu

Some people think the flu is just a bad cold. It’s not. The virus can cause serious health concerns that include days of fever, cough, sore throat, and body aches. In some cases, the flu leads to death, even if you’re healthy. In the 2017-2018 flu season, 31 people died in Pierce County from flu-related complications. People who are at a higher risk of complications from the virus include:

  • Children younger than 5.
  • Adults 65 and older.
  • Pregnant women.
  • People with diabetes, obesity, asthma, and heart disease.

Flu season is typically October to April but can last longer. The flu vaccine is for people 6 months old and older. Keep in mind the vaccine can take up to two weeks before it’s effective. That’s why it’s important to get your shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available. If you haven’t gotten one yet, don’t worry. It’s not too late.

I've heard I can get the flu even if I’m vaccinated. Why should I bother?

Vaccine effectiveness can vary. If you get your shot and still get the flu, the vaccine can reduce your symptoms, their duration, and the chance you will spread the virus. Some protection is better than no protection at all. A flu shot is your best protection against the virus. Other ways to fight the flu:

  • Wash your hands often.
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes.
  • Stay home if you’re sick.

Be a holiday hero this year to everyone on your shopping list and beyond. Give the 253 the gift of flu-fighting protection. Get your flu shot. Learn more about the flu and how to prevent it at www.tpchd.org/flu.

Resources

A Flu FAQ—Get answers to questions about the vaccine.

I Have the Flu: Should I Go to the ER?—Most people who get the flu will recover at home with rest and fluids. This blog post explains the emergency signs for immediate medical attention.

Free Immunizations for Children—Find details about where you can get free flu shots and other vaccinations for kids.

Communicable Disease Program Manager Kayla Scrivner

by Kayla Scrivner

Kayla helps coordinate our efforts with healthcare provider partners in our communities.