TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. - The number of people infected with flu is increasing in the community, and it's not too late to get your vaccination. The Center for Disease Control recommends all persons over the age of 6 months receive the 2012-13 flu vaccine unless their healthcare provider has advised of contraindications.
Are flu vaccinations 100 percent effective?
Flu vaccines are protection from the flu, however, they are not perfect. The good news is this year's flu vaccine is closely matched to the strain of virus that is currently circulating in the community. The CDC estimates that people who have received the 2012-2013 vaccine are 62 percent less likely to get the flu.
Can the flu shot give me the flu?
It is a myth the flu shot will give you the flu. The vaccine uses dead viruses so you cannot get the flu from the vaccine. The most common side effects are soreness in the arm near the injection site, muscle aches, or a mild fever. These symptoms are a result of your natural immune response to the vaccine. Be aware it takes two weeks for the vaccine to be effective, so if you are exposed to the virus during that time you may not be protected.
Protect yourself and your family
By combining the vaccine with regular hand washing, covering your cough, avoiding touching your T-Zone (across your forehead and from your nose down to your chin), and staying home when ill, you are doing all you can to protect yourself and others from colds and flu.
Flu shots are available at Safeway, CVS, and Rite Aid stores, through your local health care provider, at the Nevada County Health Department in Truckee (for adults on Wednesdays, and for children on the first Thursday of the month), at the Placer County Health Department in Kings Beach (Fridays), and at the Tahoe Forest Hospital Clinic.
For more information about who should and who should not get vaccinated visit www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/whoshouldvax.htm.
For additional information on immunizations for children and adults, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/.
Tahoe Forest Health System is a not-for-profit rural healthcare facility located in Truckee, California and was recently named one of the nation's Top 100 Critical Access Hospitals and Top 20 for Patient Satisfaction. For more information, go to www.tfhd.com