It might still be September, but it is already flu shot season, as word of clinics are hitting the news.
And while inaccurate rumors and overconfidence in one’s ability to stay healthy prevents people from getting the flu shot, it really is an important thing to do, according to Mary Lenzini, CEO of the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern Connecticut. The more people who get the flu shot, the less likely anybody gets the flu, Lenzini said.
“The more people who get vaccinated, the less chance it has of spreading,” Lenzini said. “It is a pretty effective vaccine.”
Lenzini strongly encouraged elderly people, people with medical issues and pregnant women to get the shot, which is covered by most insurance companies or otherwise is around $14.
It is children who are the most likely to pass around the disease, but adults actually get sicker from it, she said. In other countries, it is mandated that all children get the flu vaccination, but that has never been the case in the United States, Lenzini said.
While flu season is still generally considered a few months away, now is a good time to get the vaccination, as it will not wear out, she said. Conversely, it takes about two weeks to kick in, so if people wait too long it can be too late, Lenzini said.
CVS Pharmacy and Walgreens in Meriden both offer flu shots. You can walk in or schedule an appointment. The cost of flu shots are covered by most insurance carriers.
Lenzini added that hand washing and covering one’s cold is still “one of the best things you can do,” but said the flu shot is a “very safe vaccine.” The vaccination is made each year based on what are the common flu strands in other countries, so it as effective as possible, she said.
She said many people don’t get the flu shot because they say they never get the flu, although she said this is “very, very good insurance” that will remain true. Although effective, it is still possible to get the flu after getting a flu shot, but even then people generally don’t get as sick from it, Lenzini added.
According to the Center of Disease Control, there are between 3,000 and 49,000 flu-associated deaths each year, mostly to elderly people. Also, people who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs, children under six-months-old, people with a fever and people with a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome should not get the flu shot, according to the CDC.
If anybody has any questions about the flu shot, they can call the Visiting Nurse Association of Southeastern Connecticut at 860-444-1111 or go to the website by clicking here.