It’s flu season. See if you know what’s true and what’s false about the flu vaccine.
1. You only need a flu shot once.
False. Every year, a different strain of flu is dominant, and therefore every year the flu shot is different. You need to get the flu vaccine every year.
2. Only people at “high risk” need to be vaccinated.
False. Certainly anyone at high risk of developing flu-related complications — including people with chronic medical conditions, children under the age of 5, adults ages 65 and over, and pregnant women — must be vaccinated. However, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months and older gets a flu shot every year.
3. I need to wait until December or January to get the flu shot.
False. The best time to get a flu vaccine is right now, before flu season. The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated by the end of October. The vaccine takes approximately two weeks to be effective; you want to be sure you are safe well before flu season starts.
What if you miss this end-of-October deadline? You should still get the vaccine. Whatever you can do to reduce your chance of getting the flu is worth doing, even if you’re getting vaccinated as late as January or February.
4. People who are allergic to eggs can’t get the flu shot.
False. Although some flu vaccines are grown from eggs, the CDC says that people with egg allergies can still get a flu vaccine. You should, however, talk to your doctor about your allergy before being vaccinated.
5. Some people should not get the flu shot.
True. However, the fact is that there are very few people for whom a flu vaccine is contraindicated. This group includes people who have had an allergic reaction to the flu vaccine in the past, and people who have had a rare disease called Guillain-Barre Syndrome. But they’re hardly off the hook: people who cannot get the flu shot need to make sure that everyone they associate with gets it, or else they are at increased risk of contracting the virus.
If you have any question about whether you should receive the flu vaccine, check with your doctor.
6. Getting the flu vaccine guarantees that I will not get the flu.
False. Unfortunately, people who have been vaccinated can still get the flu. They might have been exposed to a flu virus that is different from the viruses the vaccine is designed for, or they might have been exposed to the flu virus before getting vaccinated or during the two-week period it takes for the vaccination to take effect. In addition, the flu vaccine isn’t equally effective in everyone who receives it.
Nevertheless, if you get the flu vaccine, you are far less likely to get the flu — and even if you get it, you are likely to get less sick than if you had not been vaccinated.
At Atlantic Coast Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center, in Lakewood, NJ, we know the truth about the flu, and work to protect our residents from the danger it presents. We pay close attention to the needs of our residents,
taking a restorative approach to senior health by maximizing function and mobility in a positive and upbeat atmosphere.
Our beautiful nursing home and rehab center is situated on beautifully landscaped grounds, and provides the comfortable and pleasant living experience that is essential to ensuring optimal clinical outcomes. We have strived to create an environment and program that truly enhances quality of life, thus promoting recuperation, health, and well-being.
Our modern facility features spacious living spaces that are impeccably decorated and furnished. Our residents are pampered with the finest amenities, including free WIFI, flat screen cable television and state-of-the-art mechanical beds for individualized comfort.
At Atlantic Coast, our goal is to offer activities that stimulate both mind and body. We fashion each day’s recreation schedule with the primary purpose of encouraging social interaction and promoting physical health and fitness. To accommodate different interests and personal preferences, our Activities Director designs flexible schedules, with a variety of stimulating and engaging activity options.
Atlantic Coast’s long-term care program emphasizes a restorative approach, encouraging each patient’s potential to maximize function and mobility.
Or better yet, come see for yourself: Contact us to schedule a tour by calling 732-364-7100, or by clicking here.