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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.

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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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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.

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  • 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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Flu Season

Getting a slow start to “flu season”…not entirely unusual…. as we saw in 2013, CDC reported an alarming rise in cases of the flu. The actual map of surveillance can be seen on the CDC website. It is never too late to get your flu shot. Especially true for new parents; newborns have little immunity and can be extraordinarily vulnerable to complications of the flu. Also, if you live with an immunocompromised person, if you care for children, elderly or ill people, its important to protect yourself AND them from the flu virus. Air, land and sea travelers have constant exposure to all virus’, especially the seasonal flu! The pesky virus is spread via droplets from the respiratory system of the infected person by coughing, sneezing, into the air, on to their hands and other surfaces within 5-6 feet of another individual. The virus affects the next victim, you, within 1-4 days! Next thing YOU know, you have sudden aches and pains all over, maybe a fever, a dry cough, sore throat and just want to crawl into a corner for a couple of days of sleep!

Pneumonia, a complication from having the flu, can be potentially deadly for the medically fragile population such as those who live with chronic disease that are still in the work force, surgical patients, cardiac and respiratory compromised persons, the elderly, diabetics, infants and children, just to name a few. Whether these folks are readily identified or not, its a good idea to protect ourselves and those around us. Its affordable, available, safe and highly recommended! Contact us at www.HealthSmartVaccines.com and get your flu shot. If you already have, well, thanks for protecting us both!

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