Michael J. Lyons, D.O., Chief Medical Officer
Coastal Gateway Health Center
In the United States, influenza (flu) season typically begins in early October and can continue through May, it is during this time that the flu virus is making its way around the population. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus, it can cause mild to severe illness that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Just as each flu season is different, the flu virus affects each person differently.
The best way to reduce your chances of contracting the flu virus is by being vaccinated with the seasonal flu vaccine. The more people that are vaccinated against the flu, the less likely the flu will spread throughout the community. It is recommended to receive your flu vaccination prior to start of flu season to avoid getting sick with the flu. However, even a late flu shot provides protection, especially when the season lingers on into April and May. It takes nearly two weeks for the antibodies that provide protection against the flu virus to build up within the body, so make sure to receive the vaccine as soon as you can.
All individuals six (6) months in age and older should receive the flu vaccine each flu season. It is, however, especially important that certain individuals take priority in being vaccinated against the flu. These individuals include: those who are at high risk of developing serious complications, like pneumonia, individuals with certain medical conditions, including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease, pregnant women, and people aged sixty-five (65) and older. Also, people who live or care for those who are at high risk of developing serious complications, as listed above.
Unfortunately, there are individuals who should not be vaccinated and include the following individuals: those with a severe allergy to chicken eggs, have had a reaction in the past to the influenza vaccine, have moderate-to-severe illness with fever (they should wait to recover before being vaccinated), and/or have a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Children under six (6) months of age are also unable to be vaccinated against the flu virus.
Coastal Gateway Health Center is administering influenza (flu) vaccines and have plenty in stock. Please call or come by to get vaccinated as soon as you can to protect yourself from the flu. If you have any questions regarding the flu vaccine, please feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 409.296.4444.