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Spread joy, not influenza, this holiday season!

Protect your whole family from influenza this season by getting your flu shot! Here’s a run-down on all you need to know about staying healthy this season with a few changes that are important to note: shots only and new recommendations for people with egg allergies.

New for the 2016-17 season: The most important change for this flu season is that only the injectable vaccine is available and recommended. That means everyone (over 6 months of age) gets a flu shot this year instead of nasal spray. A few other important things to note, flu vaccines have been updated to match the circulating viruses out there and recommendations for vaccination of people with egg allergies have changed. If you have an egg allergy here’s a link to more information, and of course always talk to your health care provider if you have questions!

Flu vaccine is safe: The vaccine is given to millions of people in the US and around the world every year. The strains may change from one year to the next but vaccines are always thoroughly tested and are safe.

The flu shot can’t give you the flu: It’s impossible to get the flu from the flu shot because the vaccine doesn’t contain live viruses. A small number of people experience side effects like achy muscles but this is simply the immune system responding to the vaccine and showing your body that the vaccine is working!

You need the vaccine every year: You won’t be protected from last years shot; there are always new strains of flu circulating. The composition of the flu vaccine is looked at each year and always updated to ensure the best chance of matching the flu viruses that are circulating.

Anyone can get the flu: One of the most common reasons for not getting vaccinated is “I’ve never had the flu before.” There’s no such thing as natural immunity to the flu; it’s best to get vaccinated each year.

Flu vaccine protects the community and you: It’s not just about protecting yourself, it’s also about protecting your colleagues, community, family, elderly, those immunocompromised and those too young to get the vaccine. Did you know that you can carry and pass on the virus to others without having any symptoms yourself?

Healthy diets won’t prevent flu: Your diet could help boost your immune system, but eating well and taking vitamins won’t protect you from flu. The best protection is the flu vaccine.

Pregnant women can and should be vaccinated: Pregnant women can get vaccinated at any stage of pregnancy. Having the vaccination while pregnant also helps protect your baby from flu over the first few months of life.

And the extra awesome super-duper bonus, drumroll please…. Flu vaccine is free and it’s very easy to get vaccinated: Your health insurance will pay for the full cost of the vaccine and you can get it by simply walking into most local pharmacies – no appointments, no copays, no excuses! Use the Vaccine Finder to locate a clinic or pharmacy near you. You can also connect with us through www.Parenthelp123.org or by calling the Family Health Hotline 1-800-322-2588 to find a free clinic near you!

Tags: flu   flu shot   Flu Vaccine   

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