The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. The vaccine provides inactive components of the flu virus that are unable to become reactivated. Your body’s immune system sees the inactive virus and creates a protection against that same type of flu virus, so that your body is fully protected if you actually have the active form of a flu virus.
Sunday is the first day of the 2019 National Influenza Vaccination Week, first established in 2005 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Flu vaccination estimates from past years have shown that few people get vaccinated against influenza after the end of November. The CDC and its partners chose December for National Influenza Vaccination Week to remind people that getting vaccinated later can still be beneficial.
According to the CDC, even if you have not yet been vaccinated and have already gotten sick with the flu, you can still benefit from vaccination since the flu vaccine protects against multiple flu viruses.
The flu vaccine has many benefits. It helps prevent serious medical events, it helps protect women during and after pregnancy, it can be life-saving in children and it reduces hospitalizations.
It also protects the people around you, including those who are most vulnerable to serious flu illness such as babies and young children, older people and people with certain chronic health conditions. Also, it has been shown in several studies to reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get the flu.
There are three actions you and your family can take to fight the flu: Take the time to get your flu vaccine; take flu antiviral drugs if your doctor prescribes them; and take preventive actions to stop the spread of germs, such as avoiding close contact with people who may already have an illness.
If you become sick with flu symptoms, stay at home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone, unless you need to seek medical attention or other necessities. Cover your mouth when coughing, cover your nose when sneezing, wash your hands often with soap, avoid touching your face and disinfect objects that you touch while you are sick.
NET Health will join the nation in celebrating National Influenza Vaccination Week by engaging in outreach activities to provide flu vaccines at church events, school campuses, day cares, health fairs and clinics set up for employees at local businesses. We encourage parents to take advantage of these events and we strongly encourage everyone 6 months of age and older to get their flu vaccination.
If you are passionate about the safety of your community, then you are encouraged to join the NET Immunizations Coalition. Our meetings are held once every three months and our next meeting will be at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 9.
For more information about attending, email ContactUs@netphd.org or call the NET Health Immunizations Department at 903-510-5604.
Immunization services are available at the NET Health Immunization Department, 815 N. Broadway Ave. in Tyler.
Sylvia Warren is director of the NET Health Immunizations Department. Let us know if you have questions about our article, or if you have a topic or topics that you want us to cover. Send an email to ContactUs@netphd.org.