Flu Season: Who Should Get Vaccinated
Itís that time of year again, flu season. Every year in the United States, up to 20% of the population gets the flu. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized and about 36,000 people die from the flu. During the 2004-05 U.S. season, influenza activity occurred at low levels from October to mid-December, steadily increased during January and peaked in mid-February. The Mississippi County Health Department will begin giving Flu vaccinations October 14, 2005 at the 16th Annual Mississippi County Health Fair. Medicare and/or Medicaid recipients must present their cards to receive a flu shot. For individuals without Medicare or Medicaid, a $5.00 fee will be charged.
Who should get the flu shot? The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that you receive a flu shot if you are classified as high-risk or if you fit one of the following categories:
- People 65 years and older
- People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities that house those with long-term illnesses
- Adults and children 6 months and older with chronic heart or lung conditions including asthma
- Adults and children 6 months and older who needed regular medical care or were in a hospital during the previous year because of a metabolic disease (like diabetes), chronic kidney disease, or weakened immune system
- Children 6 months to 18 years of age who are on long-term aspirin therapy.
- Women who will be pregnant during the influenza season
- All children 6 to 23 months of age
- People 50 to 64 years of age and have one or more medial conditions that place them at an increased risk for serious flu complications
- People who can transmit flu to others at high-risk such as healthcare workers, caregivers of children 6 to 23 months and close contacts of people 65 years and older.
Some people should not be vaccinated or should wait before getting vaccinated. They include:
- People who have a severe allergy to eggs
- People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past
- People who developed Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously
- Children less than 6 months of age
- People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever (These people can get vaccinated once their symptoms lessen)
If you have any questions concerning the Health Fair or flu vaccinations, please contact Rachelle Johnson at 683-2191