Influenza vaccine arrives in Illinois - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Influenza vaccine arrives in Illinois

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SPRINGFIELD, IL (KFVS) -

The influenza vaccine is starting to arrive at health departments, pharmacies and health care clinics around the state of Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Public Health, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is recommending everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot as soon as it is available.

"It's important to get a seasonal flu shot every year as the flu strains often change from year to year and the vaccine effectiveness declines," said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. LaMar Hasbrouck.  "One of the biggest myths and most common reasons people don't get a flu shot is because they think they get the flu from the flu shot.  The viruses in the flu vaccine are either killed or weakened, so you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine."

Flu deaths in the United States range from about 3,000 a year to about 49,000 a year.

During a regular flu season, 90 percent of those deaths occur in adults age 65 and older.

There are three different flu shots available, as well as a nasal spray:

     A regular flu shot approved for people ages 6 months and older

     A high-dose flu shot approved for people age 65 and older

     An intradermal flu shot (smaller needle) approved for people 18 to 64 years of age.

The nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for healthy people 2 to 49 years old who are not pregnant.

Some minor side effects that could occur include low-grade fever, body aches, or soreness redness or swelling where the shot is delivered.

If these problems occur, they usually only last a day or two.

To be protected, children aged 6 months through 8 years need two doses of influenza vaccine, at least four weeks apart, during their first flu season.

There are some people who cannot be vaccinated, such as babies younger than 6 months and people who are allergic to the vaccine.

You can be vaccinated in September and be protected through the entire flu season.  The season typically runs October through May.

It takes two weeks after receiving the vaccine for antibodies to start building up in a person.

To reduce the spread of influenza, practice the "3 C's":

     Clean - properly wash your hands frequently

     Cover - cover your cough and sneeze

     Contain - contain your germs by staying home if you are sick.

For information, log onto http://www.idph.state.il.us/flu/index.htm.

To find out where you can get a flu shot, go to http://flushot.healthmap.org/.     

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