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Flu/sick file

Have you received your flu vaccine this year? Are you debating on whether to get one or not? With the Christmas holiday and school break taking place later this month, don’t wait to vaccinate. Getting the flu vaccine is simple, and it’s the most important thing you can do to protect yourself and your family from the flu.

When you get a flu shot, it not only protects you and your family, but also your neighbors and your community. The more people who get vaccinated, the more people will be protected from flu. Some people are at high risk for serious flu‐related complications. People at high risk include pregnant women, children younger than 5 but especially children younger than 2, people 65 and older, and people who have certain medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease. For those at high risk of serious flu complications, getting a flu vaccine is especially important. Just as important are the caregivers of high-risk people who need to be vaccinated against the flu, too.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against seasonal flu viruses. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body. Antibodies will help your immune system fight off the flu virus if you are exposed to it. Since it takes your body two weeks to build up that protection, it’s best to get vaccinated early.

The Cayuga County Health Department has the flu vaccine available during our weekly immunization clinic. Call (315) 253-1560 for an appointment. We will bill insurances and Medicare. If you do not have insurance, we can help. Please give us a call today!

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As a reminder, flu season most often peaks between December and March, but activity can occur as late as May. Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and best available way to protect yourself and your family from flu. Flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits and missed work and school, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

Anyone, even healthy people, can get the flu. For millions of people, the flu means a fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle aches, fatigue and miserable days spent in bed. While most people who get the flu recover in several days to less than two weeks, some people can get very sick.

In addition to the Cayuga County Health Department having flu vaccines available, flu vaccines are offered in many locations, including doctors’ offices, pharmacies, health centers and travel clinics, as well as by many employers and schools.

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Deanna Ryan, M.S., is a senior public health educator with the Cayuga County Health Department.

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