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Effective Monday, July 19, 2021, the following NOH/OMG office locations will no longer provide on-site blood draws: Westlake, Lorain, Olmsted Falls and Dewhurst. Click here for the nearest lab service location. 

What You Need to Know About Flu Vaccinations this Season

October 20, 2016

Flu.jpgMany people are inclined to get the nasal flu vaccine for their children because the shot can be painful. However, this year, health officials are recommending that people get the injection rather than the nasal spray. Between the 2013 and 2016 seasons, the CDC discovered that the nasal vaccine’s effectiveness was lowered.

In the 2015-2016 season, the nasal flu vaccine protected only 3 percent of children ages 2 to 17.

Possible reasons the nasal spray does not work this year include:

  • Different strands of the flu in the spray than what is going around
  • Age and health of recipient

Influenza shots contain three to four dead strains of the virus, which means you cannot get sick from the vaccine unless the strain that is going around does not match those in the vaccine.

It’s best to get your flu shot in the late fall or early winter. If you get it too soon, the vaccine could potentially wear off and you could be susceptible to the virus. Just because your local drugstore has them available now does not mean you should get them yet.

Benefits of the Flu Vaccination

Flu vaccinations help prevent the spread of the virus. They also can help people with chronic health issues by reducing cardiac episodes and reducing the number of hospital visits. Flu vaccines also help protect pregnant women during and after their pregnancies. Flu-related respiratory issues in pregnant women were reduced by approximately half, in a recent study. Additionally, if you do get sick, the vaccine can help reduce the effects of the illness.

Who Can’t Get the Vaccine

If your child is less than 6 months old. Also consult your doctor about getting a flu shot if you aren’t feeling well or previously had Guillain-Barre Syndrome.

How to Avoid the Flu

Aside from getting your flu shot this year, you can also take the following precautions to avoid getting the flu.

  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Keep your hands away from your face
  • Get a lot of sleep
  • Exercise
  • Keep away from sick people

Symptoms of the Flu

  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Possibly vomiting or diarrhea

As the daunting flu season approaches, take time to be cognizant of your surroundings, the things you touch and how to avoid getting sick. If you think you have the flu, consult your doctor. And for more tips on avoiding the flu, download our guide "How to Get Rid of the Flu or Not Get It At All."