"But we can help them stay healthy by making sure we get our vaccines and by taking preventative measures".
"I gotta tell you, I'm exhausted of hearing people say, 'Well, I didn't get sick and I didn't get the flu shot, ' or, 'I don't like it, my arm hurts, ' or, 'It makes me feel a little bit uncomfortable, '" said U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams at a news conference on September 27.
This type of thinking, however, doesn't take into account how deadly flu can be to healthy people, said Flor Munoz, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Texas Children's Hospital in Houston.
Researchers typically study the flu season in the southern hemisphere to predict what they might see in the northern hemisphere in any given year. Although the flu may seem like merely an inconvenience, lack of vaccination could potentially lead to a fatal outbreak. Every year in the United States, millions of people get the flu, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands of people -and sometimes tens of thousands - die from flu-related illnesses.
Paules said 2018 marks 100 years since the influenza pandemic of 1918 that killed more people than any war or natural disaster in history: "It's worth thinking about what we can do to protect ourselves". Why would I need a flu shot?
Another reason people don't get vaccinated is because they are more concerned about the vaccine than they are of the flu itself. A similar clinic last week provided almost 2 dozen immunizations. The spray works by injecting a live virus to try to increase the body's ability to develop antibodies to fight future exposure. This means that people with certain health conditions shouldn't get the spray. TMC News spoke with Isabel Valdez, a Baylor College of Medicine physician assistant and instructor of family and community medicine, about the flu vaccine. Instead, they should get a shot that has inactivated components that stimulate the antibody production that protects against the virus.
"With few exceptions", the CDC recommends that everyone ages six months and older gets the flu vaccine annually.
Focusing on just that one number, however, is short-sighted because it lumps all strains and all ages together, Munoz said.
Children ages 6 months through 8 years who require two doses of the flu vaccine should receive their first dose as soon as possible to allow the second dose (which must be administered four weeks or more later) to be received by the end of October. The regular-dose shot is the most common form of the vaccine and is recommended for most people-including pregnant women.
The flu vaccine is widely available at doctor's offices, area pharmacies, various clinics and other locations, Excellus said. "It is very important to practice good hygiene", Weston said. Other recommendations to prevent spreading germs include coughing or sneezing into a tissue or your elbow and avoiding touching your face.
If you, or someone you know, show signs or symptoms of the flu, there is a 48-hour window from the onset of symptoms in which to begin anti-viral therapy, which shortens the duration of influenza and may lessen risk of complications. "When it comes to you and your family's health, it's best to take the cautious approach and get your shot".
"Most importantly, get vaccinated!"