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5 Points to Know About Vaccines This Flu Season

This flu season, getting your vaccines is the best way to avoid influenza. Those who neglect to get the shot are susceptible to pneumonia, ear infections, and seizures, and these ailments can be life-threatening to young children and older adults. When it comes to protecting your family this fall, consider the many advantages of vaccination.

5 Facts About Flu Shots

1. The Best Time to Get Vaccines

As airborne illnesses peak in early winter, it is most beneficial to get vaccinated towards the end of October. Physicians recommend scheduling the appointment two weeks before the start of the flu season.

2. The Side Effects of the Flu Shot

After getting the flu vaccine, some patients experience pain in their treated arm. While 10-30% of children under 2 may come down with a fever after immunization, this mild aftereffect is rare among older children and adults.

3. Whether Children Over 6 Months Should Be Vaccinated

To prevent infant illness and the spread of infection, children older than 6 months should receive vaccination. As they are predisposed to developing pediatric illnesses and susceptible to hospitalization, it is pertinent that children under the age of five get the flu shot.

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4. If Pregnant Women Should Be Immunized

Getting vaccinated is one of the most effective ways an expecting mother can protect her unborn child from influenza. As newborns are too young to be immunized, it is important that pregnant women and breastfeeding mothers get vaccines so they can safely pass them on to the baby.

5. Falsehoods About the Flu Vaccine

Many rumors revolve around vaccines. Despite common belief, the flu shot cannot cause influenza. As the shot contains an inactive virus, it is impossible for the flu to infect the body. Another common misconception is that it is dangerous for a child with egg allergies to be vaccinated. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, this is false.

 

Since 2006, HealthSmartVaccines has helped patients ward off disease with everything from whooping cough immunizations to tuberculosis testing services. Call (703) 961-0733 to schedule a quality consultation at their certified clinic in Chantilly, Virginia, and visit them online to learn about on-site group clinics committed to your comfort and convenience.

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2017 Flu Season Updates

Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. In 2017, a study in Pediatrics was the first of its kind to show that flu vaccination also significantly reduced a child’s risk of dying from influenza. The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu, including older people, very young children, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term health conditions who are more vulnerable to serious flu complications.

What’s new this flu season?

A few things are new this season:

  • The recommendation to not use the nasal spray flu vaccine (LAIV) was renewed for the 2017-2018 season. Only injectable flu shots are recommended for use again this season.
  • Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses (the influenza A(H1N1) component was updated).
  • Pregnant women may receive any licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate flu vaccine.
  • Two new quadrivalent (four-component) flu vaccines have been licensed: one inactivated influenza vaccine (“Afluria Quadrivalent” IIV) and one recombinant influenza vaccine (“Flublok Qudrivalent” RIV).
  • The age recommendation for “Flulaval Quadrivalent” has been changed from 3 years old and older to 6 months and older to be consistent with FDA-approved labeling.
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What to Know About the Flu Shot

The flu shot is a valuable tool in protecting yourself and your family from the influenza virus. Doctors recommend getting one each year, as the contents of the vaccine change to adapt with the virus. Before you go to HealthSmart Vaccines to get your flu vaccine in Chantilly, VA, it’s important to familiarize yourself with how the vaccine works and its possible side effects.

flu shot

A Guide to the Flu Shot

How It Works

The vaccination protects against multiple strains of the flu, including the H1N1 and H3N2 strains. Since the virus is constantly changing, the shot is slightly different each year to protect against the new season’s strain. Health officials recommend getting the shot in early fall before the start of November. After it’s administered, it will take two weeks for patients to develop immunity against the flu. While it’s not guaranteed to prevent you from getting sick, studies show that it does reduce your chance of contracting the virus. Those who get sick after having the flu shot often experience less severe symptoms.

Possible Side Effects

In most cases, patients experience mild side effects such as swelling, redness, and soreness at the injection site. Some experience aches or fevers of varying severity. Some of the more serious side effects include allergic reactions, hives, difficulty breathing, or a racing heart. If any of these more serious side effects occur, it’s best to see a doctor for treatment.

There is a common misconception that you can get the flu from the flu vaccine, but this is simply untrue. The viruses in the flu shot are killed, so you cannot get sick from them. Those who do get the flu immediately after the shot were simply unlucky enough to get sick before they were able to build up an immunity.

The flu shot is the best way to be proactive against influenza, and the experienced staff at HealthSmartVaccines will make getting your vaccination easy. They can even accommodate patients who are planning to travel by providing a set of booster shots. Contact us at (703) 961-0733 to schedule your appointment.

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Travel Vaccine Checklist: 3 Immunizations to Get Before You Go Abroad

World travel can expose you to different cultures, new environments, and exciting activities. But going abroad can also expose you to a variety of illnesses that don’t pose as much of a risk in the United States. Fortunately, you can avoid bringing home one of these unwanted souvenirs by getting all the necessary travel vaccines from HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA.

As a travel clinic in Northern Virginia, HealthSmartVaccines specializes in providing immunizations that can keep you protected in another country—and help prevent foreign illnesses from entering the United States. While these immunizations are affordable and quick to receive, this clinic stresses the importance of getting complete coverage for your travels.

travel vaccines

That’s why they recommend making sure you ask your provider about:

  • Routine Vaccinations: Although routine immunizations are commonplace for younger patients, there are also important vaccines for adults, especially adults traveling abroad.  Before you travel, review your immunization records to be sure that your immunizations are complete and current. Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis), hepatitis A, hepatitis B, typhoid, and influenza are routinely recommended for all travelers and, depending on destinations, yellow fever, polio, rabies and Japanese Encephalitis may be recommended for required. Also, some countries require proof of immunization for meningitis. Take the time to protect yourself against serious, vaccine preventable diseases before you travel.
  • Required Vaccinations:The travel vaccines you need before heading to a specific part of the world can vary and, in some instances, are required to enter the country. Spending more than a month in Japan and traveling to rural areas may indicate immunization for Japanese Encephalitis. If you’re visiting South America or Africa, you may need to show proof you have had a yellow fever vaccination. To review specific recommendations by travel destination, visit the CDC website for a full list.
  • Recommended Vaccinations: While some vaccinations are a must for certain locations, other recommendations may fall into a certain gray area. As such, it’s a good idea to speak with a specialist at a travel clinic who can assess your particular situation and what will be necessary. For example, you may find if you’re going to a metropolitan area overseas, you may not need immunizations that are typically required for those exploring less inhabited parts of the country.

Whether you need to update your immunizations, (some have specific time limitations for optimum protection), or require destination specific vaccines, contact HealthSmartVaccines  As a highly regarded travel specialty clinic in Chantilly, VA and a 10 minute drive from Dulles International Airport, we will provide you the information and immunizations services to help protect your travel related health. If you have a question about your needs or want to schedule a visit, contact the clinic at (703) 961-0733.

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Do You Need a Vaccination for Your Next Trip?

Nothing can ruin a fun-filled vacation faster than illness. While there’s always a possibility of getting sick or injured wherever you are in the world, there are some precautions you can take to stay healthy while traveling. Getting vaccinations before embarking on your trip can prevent all kinds of ailments, from measles to tetanus.

vaccinationsWhen discussing travel vaccines, it’s important to realize that these shots aren’t just necessary for exotic destinations. A 2015 outbreak of measles linked to Disney parks proves that you don’t have to be far from home to get sick. This highlights the first essential step of travel vaccine planning: Ensure that all regular vaccinations are up to date.

If you’re going further afield, you may need additional shots to ensure a safe trip. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a useful website that provides vaccine recommendations for every country. If you’re traveling to Belize, for instance, they recommend hepatitis A and typhoid vaccines for “most” travelers. Meanwhile, “some” travelers may also be advised to get shots for hepatitis B, rabies, yellow fever, and malaria.

Several factors differentiate “most” from “some” travelers, and the subsequent suggestions for both. A rabies vaccination is an urgent matter for children who are more prone to play with wild animals, while the need for malaria medication might depend on whether you plan to backpack through the jungle or stay in a five-star hotel.

A travel medicine expert can best advise regarding your unique vaccination needs before a trip. Make sure you consult a professional well in advance, as some vaccines require weeks of incubation time and booster shots before they are effective. While this will add to your travel planning, it’s well worth the effort: With a simple shot, there’s no need to let preventable diseases ruin your vacation.

 

 

If you’re planning a trip and aren’t sure whether you need travel vaccines, HealthSmart Vaccines can help. Located in Chantilly, VA, they offer a full range of vaccinations that will keep you fit on your holiday. In addition to comprehensive travel health advice, vaccines, and medications, they also have travel insurance services. To schedule an appointment, contact them online or by calling (703) 961-0733. 

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3 Important Reasons to Get Travel Vaccinations

If you’re planning a vacation or extended holiday in an exotic location, you may need to get vaccinated to safeguard against any potential diseases. The medical professionals at HealthSmart Vaccines in Chantilly, VA, stress the importance of understanding the risks and addressing them proactively by scheduling for your travel vaccinations.

Understanding the Importance of Travel Vaccinations

travel vaccination

  • Risk of Disease: If you are traveling to an exotic destination, you may be at risk for a myriad of diseases your body is not prepared to fight. As a preventative measure, it’s important to receive the appropriate vaccinations. A vaccine contains the microorganism in its weakest form that is then injected into your body. Your immune system produces antibodies to fight off the organism in the event you come in contact with the disease again.
  • Returning Home: Some vaccines, such as that for yellow fever, are required before you can enter a country. This is due to the high risk of exposure for such diseases, in which they can be transmitted through a mosquito bite and passed along once the host is infected. Without these required vaccines, you may run into difficulties returning home.
  • Save Money on Healthcare: If you opt to go on your trip without getting the recommended vaccinations and contract an illness, you could end up spending a fortune on hospitalization and medical care. While vaccinations do cost money, they’re only the fraction of the cost of emergency healthcare.

When you leave for vacation you’ll be rest assured knowing you’re protected from diseases thanks to travel vaccines. Call (703) 961-0733 to set up an appointment at HealthSmart Vaccines or visit our website for more information about their comprehensive list of services.

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5 Key Facts to Know About the Seasonal Flu Vaccine

Getting an annual flu shot is the best way to minimize your risk of contracting the flu. January is not too late to vaccinate. The peak of the flu season is usually late January through April with the peak in the February and March period. Live or work in the Chantilly area? Visit HealthSmartVaccines’ clinic for your flu shot and all adult vaccine needs including travel vaccines. If you plan to fly this winter, especially longer and international flights, it is especially important to have a flu shot. Remember, there are two different vaccines available this year and for the best protection, be sure you receive the vaccine that protects against four different strains of flu. HealthSmartVaccines only offers the better vaccine.

Our modern and convenient immunization clinic offers the vaccines you need to stay healthy and protected against preventable contagious diseases at home and on the road. We also offer travel insurance through Travel Guard, an AIG company. A minimal investment in travel protection may protect both your health and your wallet.

FLU FACTS — Q & A

  • Why You Should Get It: The flu can vary in intensity and may affect people in different ways. Millions of people contract it every year, and in serious cases, it can require hospitalization and even cause death. Getting a flu shot is the single best way to avoid contracting the illness. Between 35,000 and 40,000 Americans die of the flu every year.
  • How The Vaccine Works: Over the course of the two weeks following your shot, antibodies will develop in response to fight the small amount of viruses that are present in the vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine prepares your body to fight four different types of influenza viruses.

flu shot

  • Who Should Get It: For children six months to age 17, contact your pediatrician or family physician. Most adults between age 18 and 64 should receive an annual flu shot. Adults 65 and older should receive a special high dose flu shot designed especially for this age group.  If you have any doubts or concerns, call HealthSmartVaccines or consult with your personal physician.
  • Pregnancy: It is recommended that women who are pregnant or are considering becoming pregnant should receive a flu shot.
  • Are there some people who should not receive a flu shot? Yes If you have ever had a reaction to the flu or any vaccine, consult with your physician. If you are allergic to eggs or taking medications that may affect your immune system, consult with your physician.
  • How Often You Should Go: It’s recommended that individuals get vaccinated annually, because the viruses are constantly changing. The vaccination is updated regularly, and you need the latest shot for the most thorough protection.

To schedule your flu vaccine with HealthSmartVaccines, call (703) 961-0733. You can also visit the center’s website to learn more about their additional services.

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What are the High-Risk Areas for Contracting Yellow Fever?

Before you take off on an overseas vacation, it’s important to make sure you’re informed about any potential health or safety hazards you may face during your visit. For example, if you’ve recently booked a tropical getaway, you may need to take precautions to protect yourself against yellow fever. Today, Chantilly, Virginia’s top travel clinic, HealthSmartVaccines, will explain what you need to know about this dangerous disease.

Yellow fever, which is a mosquito-borne illness, is prevalent in tropical and subtropical zones of South America and Africa. Still, an estimated nine in 10 reported cases of the disease occur in Africa, where it is endemic in 34 countries, including Uganda, Angola, and Ghana. Meanwhile, it’s endemic in 13 South American countries, including Argentina, Bolivia, and Brazil. While there have been no reports of yellow fever in Asia, mosquitoes that could carry the disease do exist there.

More than half the people who contract yellow fever will die from it. Since this disease has no known cure, doctors recommend the yellow fever vaccination as the most effective and responsible mode of prevention. It’s safe, affordable, and provides lifelong immunity against the disease. If you’re heading to South America, Africa, or even Asia, obtain your yellow fever vaccination beforehand, just in case. That way, you can enjoy a fun, stress-free, and healthy vacation.

To ensure you stay safe on your next trip, make sure you’re up to date on all your travel vaccinations. For more information about staying protected, call the experts from HealthSmartVaccines today at (703) 961-0733.

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3 Ways to Fend off Illness After Getting Your Flu Vaccine

Although getting a flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against illness this winter, the flu shot is not 100% effective. The flu vaccine may not protect everyone from the flu, but the CDC reports that it can still prevent several flu-related complications.

If you’re ready to get your annual flu shot, turn to HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA. Here are three additional ways to fend off illness this winter:

  • Limit Contact: Try to avoid close contact with people who are sick, and if you fall ill, limit your own contact with others. The CDC recommends that people with flu symptoms remain at home for at least 24 hours after their fever has subsided except to seek medical treatment.
  • Wash Your Hands: It is important to wash your hands frequently all season long. Use soap and water, and scrub your hands thoroughly every time. If you do not have access to a sink with soap, use an alcohol-based sanitizer, instead.
  • flu vaccineDisinfect Surfaces: Clean and disinfect the surfaces in your home, car, and office that could easily get contaminated with disease-causing germs. Bring portable bleach wipes with you when you’re out running errands so you can wipe down the handle on your shopping cart. You can also carry alcohol-based sanitizer in your purse for when you’re in a pinch and don’t have any wipes handy.

If you want to avoid catching the flu this year, the above tips will help. Ultimately, it comes down to developing an awareness of where flu germs are likely lurking. For example, you should avoid touching your eyes, mouth, and nose, especially when you’re out in public.

If you want to protect your family from the flu this year, turn to HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA. Call (703) 961-0733 to schedule a flu vaccine today.

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3 Travel Vaccination Suggestions for Business Travelers

If your work requires you to visit locations out of the country, travel vaccinations are an important part of preparing for your business trip. HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA, provides vaccines to employees at multi-national corporations to help them avoid contracting any diseases while in the host country. They will also provide you with a travel nurse who will go over all precautions you should take and any health risks you could possibly face.

Travel vaccinations and precautions for business travelers are unique because their work could require extensive stays in foreign countries or recurrent trips, which can increase the risk of developing certain diseases. If you know that your work will require you to travel, here are a few vaccination tips you should follow:

  • Take Preemptive Measures: For many business travelers, trips can often come up at the last minute. However, many vaccinations are required to be administered at least a month before traveling to ensure the vaccine has developed an immune response. Also, if the location the person is visiting requires more than one travel vaccination, vaccines may need to be administered more than one month apart.
  • Stay Up-To-Date On Routine Vaccines: Business travelers should follow national recommendations for routine vaccines such as influenza, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, diphtheria, and zoster. Many of these travel vaccinations are incredibly important when traveling to other countries that have had breakdowns in specific vaccines. For example, many areas in Africa and Europe have had a rise in measles outbreaks since 2008, creating a worldwide measles resurgence. Also, numerous countries, including Germany, Nigeria, India, Iraq, and Afghanistan have experienced new outbreaks of wild poliovirus.
  • Vaccinate Against All Preventable Diseases: When traveling to a country, especially for a long period of time, it is wise to get vaccinated against all treatable diseases you could develop in the host country. These travel vaccinations should especially include the rabies and hepatitis B vaccines, as these could both be incredibly expensive and hard to obtain in many other countries.

To learn more about travel vaccinations and protecting your employees while they are in other countries on business, contact HealthSmartVaccines today. Schedule your consultation by calling (703) 961-0733. You can also visit them online to learn more about vaccines for preventable diseases. Stay up to date on current disease outbreaks and necessary vaccines by following them on Facebook.

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