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Now Is the Time to Get a Flu Shot

by Teagan Smith | Dec 11, 2017
The CDC has predicted a severe flu season which may start earlier than usual. Don't wait to get a flu shot, especially if you are pregnant or have young children at home.

Don’t wait to get the flu vaccine, especially if you are pregnant or have young children at home. The CDC has predicted a severe flu season which may start earlier than usual. This year the predominant flu strain is H3N2, which can cause more severe symptoms than other strains of the virus. Scientists learn what to expect in the U.S. by observing what has happened in Australia, where the flu season typically lasts from April to September. While it’s true that this year’s version of the flu vaccine was not 100% effective in the Southern Hemisphere, doctors still advise getting a flu shot. Why bother if it’s possible to come down with the flu anyway, you may ask? 

  1. The flu vaccine protects against other flu strains, which can still be contracted even though they are not the predominant strain.

  2. If you have been vaccinated and become ill anyway, you will be less likely to require hospitalization and can expect to experience milder symptoms.

  3. You will be protecting others around you who are at risk. Children under 5, adults over 50 and pregnant women are at high risk for developing flu-related complications. Babies under 6 months can not have a flu shot, so it’s important that their parents and all adults around them are vaccinated. 

"We recommend it for all our patients, and take extra care to underscore its importance with our pregnant patients. These women are at an increased risk of serious illness and this extra measure helps protect them and their infant in its first 6 months," says Lakesha Rivera, Director of Clinical Operations at Women's Health CT. If you have any questions or concerns about the flu vaccine for yourself or your family, do not hesitate to contact your Women’s health CT provider.

Learn more here: Influenza: Awareness & Prevention

Sources:
Carroll, Linda, "Flu is spreading fast this year, with a severe season possible." nbcnews.com, December 3, 2017, https://www.nbcnews.com/health/cold-and-flu/flu-spreading-fast-year-severe-season-possible-n825911
Chodosh, Sara, "This year's flu season looks like a bad one- and it could be coming early." popsci.com, December 4, 2017, https://www.popsci.com/this-flu-season-looks-bad
Hubbard, Susan, "The Kid's Doctor: The importance of flu vaccinations." tribunecontentagency.com, November 28, 2017, https://tribunecontentagency.com/article/the-kids-doctor-the-importance-of-flu-vaccinations/

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