There’s still time to get your flu vaccine

December 1st, 2015 by Barbara Lounsury, M.D.

Barbara Lounsbury, M.D.
TIEE Medical Director

Winter break will be here soon and so will the flu.  In fact, the first death in San Diego county due to the flu was reported recently.  Last year, 97 people died in San Diego county due to the influenza virus, mainly young children, elderly people, and those with other illnesses.

The level of flu nationwide is still low so now is the time to get your family immunized – it takes about 2 weeks for antibodies to develop. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine every year. This year’s vaccine is a good match for the flu strains that have been detected in the world so it is expected to be very effective.

You can choose from several flu vaccine options, including a preservative free nasal spray, a preservative free injection form, or the regular injection form. Flu vaccines are available through many health providers, San Diego public health clinics, and many pharmacies.

In addition to the flu virus, there are lots of other viruses active in the winter that cause colds and other infections so, besides getting the flu vaccine, here are some important steps you and your children can take every day to stop the spread of the flu and other germs:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water; use an alcohol gel if you can’t get to a sink
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your arm, not your hands
  • Stay away from sick people whenever possible
  • Stay home when you are sick

 

Click on the link below and take the quiz with your kids to see how much you know about the flu. I got fewer than half the items correct, so I learned a lot!

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/02/13/the-well-flu-quiz/?_r=0

 

Other resources:

 

I hope you and your family have a happy and healthy winter.