Flu season is here, which means the team at AdventHealth Centra Care has already been working for months preparing to protect you and your family. Influenza is the most frequent cause of death from a vaccine-preventable disease in the United States. Rates of infection from seasonal influenza are highest among children, but the risks for complications, hospitalizations and deaths are higher among adults ages 65 years and older, children younger than 5 years and people of any age who have chronic medical conditions.
This Year's Flu Vaccine
There are many different flu viruses and they change each year. That is why in order to protect your family and our community individuals need a new vaccine every fall. The composition of the flu vaccines is reviewed annually by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and updated as needed to match circulating flu viruses. This year’s vaccine selection process was unique, in that the World Health Organization actually delayed their decision on which strains to use in the vaccine composition as they watched the viruses changing around the world. The additional time allowed experts more opportunity to monitor circulating influenza viruses and characterization of potential strains to include in the vaccine.
Flu Vaccine Myths
Unfortunately, there are many negative myths surrounding the flu vaccination. One of the ones Centra Care professionals hear the most is “I won’t get the shot because one time I got the flu from the shot.” False. There are several reasons why this misconception persists:
- Some people (less than 1%) who are vaccinated develop flu-like symptoms, such as mild fever and muscle aches after vaccination. These side effects are not the same as having influenza, but people confuse the symptoms.
- Immunity after a flu shot doesn't fully protect until 1–2 weeks after vaccination. Some who get vaccinated may be infected with the influenza virus shortly afterward. It is not the result of the vaccination.
- Many people consider "the flu" to be any illness with fever and cold symptoms or gastrointestinal symptoms. If they get any viral infection, they may blame it on the vaccine. Influenza vaccine only protects against certain influenza viruses, not all viruses.
Get your flu shot at any Centra Care location today.