Kentucky Health Officials: Don't Let Flu Ruin the Holidays

Kenny Tucker
December 9, 2018

Patients without access to a military treatment facility can get the influenza vaccine from a participating retail network pharmacy or their health care provider.

Pregnant women are at an increased risk for severe illness and complications if infected with the influenza virus. Despite the abundance of research conducted on the value and effects of vaccines, public health discourse is still laden with criticisms from anti-vaccination groups, especially within legal frameworks that propose mandating vaccines like the flu shot.

The backfire-effect occurs when efforts to provide people with information which challenges their prior beliefs can actually make them more resistant to taking action based on that information.

Myth: Flu shots don't really work. "If we don't get vaccinated, we are needlessly putting ourselves at risk of serious illness, but we are also gambling with the health of children and others around us who can't get vaccinated".

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About 1.73 percent of patient visits to reporting doctor's offices, clinics, and school health services in MA as of November 30 showed influenza-like illnesses, defined by the state Department of Public Health as a fever of more than 100 degrees and a cough and/or sore throat. "The season hasn't begun to peak yet, and by getting your influenza vaccination now, you can protect yourself", said Broome County Public Health Nurse Marian Hollander. Early signs are that this coming year might be dominated by the H1N1 strain, for which the flu vaccine tends to have higher effectiveness rates. As many as 35 million flu cases are expected this year, starting in October and continuing into May, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"Pneumonia is certainly one that can be very serious for adults", Borgen said. Flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter seasons.

In other words, you have every reason to get the flu vaccine for you and your loved ones. However, any patients with a history of an egg allergy or a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, should speak with their health care provider about options for flu vaccination. How can vaccinations benefit them?

While the vaccine is not flawless, it greatly reduces the chances of getting the flu and lessens the severity should one get ill. Although children are the ones receiving the vaccinations, they themselves do not know what is being injected into their bodies, nor do they know what the vaccination can prevent or protect them from.

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