Flu season is upon us once again. This is the perfect time to prepare and protect yourself and those around you against this nasty virus. In the healthcare industry, we know the importance of staying healthy and happy, so this is the perfect opportunity for us to explain why getting your flu shot is so important.
The influenza (flu) vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against the flu. The flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over the age of six months who is not allergic to the vaccine and is responsible for preventing the flu in millions of people resulting in thousands of fewer deaths and hospitalizations.
People who are at the highest risk for contracting the flu include pregnant women, young children, individuals over the age of 65, and people with chronic diseases. The World Health Organization (WHO), The Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), and the Healthcare Infection Control Practices Advisory Committee (HICPAC) recommend that healthcare professionals receive the flu vaccination every year because they care for a population that is at high risk of catching the influenza virus, the virus which causes the flu. Your flu vaccine will help protect you, your family, and your clients. Because the flu is spread so easily to others, we urge you to get your flu shot as soon as possible.
You might wonder, "How does someone 'catch' a flu?" This happens through droplets produced when someone with the flu coughs, sneezes or even just by talking near someone. The droplets can reach as far as 6 feet. A person may touch an infected surface or object and then touch their own mouth or nose and contract it that way. You can even spread it to others if you don’t have any symptoms or feel sick at all. This is why it is so important to protect yourself this flu season.
The vaccine may not prevent all variations of the flu, as it has been known to evolve each year, but it can reduce the severity of the disease should you contract the virus. Additionally, the flu vaccine cannot cause flu. The vaccine has possible side effects that include symptoms that may be similar to the flu, however, serious problems and side effects are extremely rare. The flu vaccine is available at little or low cost at the doctor’s office, all major pharmacies (Walgreens, Rite Aide, CVS, Duane Reade in NYC), healthcare clinics, and some community centers. Some of these may even offer the flu shot for free.
In addition to receiving the flu vaccine you should follow these preventative steps to protect yourself and your family:
- Wash your hands frequently
- Cover your mouth/nose when coughing or sneezing
- Stay home if you feel ill
- Avoid contact with sick people, if and when possible
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth
At True Care, we are committed to keeping our health care professionals healthy and their clients safe. We offer free flu vaccines in our offices throughout the flu season. If you are a True Caregiver, look out for announcements on Facebook and Instagram to find out when and where you can come into one of our offices and get your free flu shot.
UPDATE: You can now see our Flu Shot Event info on our website.