Vaccination is your ammunition against the 2017-2018 Flu. You have the power to fight the flu with a vaccination against the virus. That’s right, we are announcing that it’s time for your annual flu shots.
We are so accustomed to calling them flu shots that we often forget to value them for what they really are: Vaccinations against an invasion of proliferating viruses. Experts agree that the best defense against Influenza is the flu shot. Here are a few rather uncomfortable facts you might be ignoring:
Influenza is a serious disease that sometimes leads to the hospital or the morgue.
- For the 2015-2016 influenza season, CDC estimates that influenza vaccination prevented approximately 5.1 million influenza illnesses. Also avoided was 2.5 million influenza-associated medical visits, and 71,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations. These people took their flu shot and did not have to miss work or family life due to the indignity and misery of the flu symptoms.
And now we come to the most impressive fact of all. The real reason for taking the flu shot!During the 2015-2016 influenza season, the experts at the CDC estimate that influenza vaccination prevented 3,000 deaths. These people took their flu shot and lived.
- Did you know that flu-related hospitalizations since 2010 ranged from 140,000 to 710,000? Even healthy people can get very sick from the flu. Likewise, healthy people can spread it to others. Each year since 2010, the flu has caused between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths.
- If you avoid your shot, could it be you enjoy hospitals, Emergency Rooms, and crowded doctor’s office visits? Surely not. The flu has instigated between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations each year since 2010. You have the power to avoid getting ill this year.
A Vaccination Crusade from Florida Lung, Asthma and Sleep Specialists
We all know that “An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu. ”However, this year the doctors and staff at FLASS are determined to slow down the spread of the insidious virus.
You see, the more people we can vaccinate, the better we can protect our communities. Protection is needed against the virus that proliferates in our area from late October to early May. So, we are redoubling our efforts to educate our community about the power of the flu shot and the effect it has not only on your health but the health of the entire public.
A Vaccination Mini-Case Study: Too Busy To Get a Shot?
Another way of looking the FLASS mission is implied in this fictional but symbolic story. We call it “Mindless and Heartless: Patient Zero is not a Patient.” See if you can connect the dots in this fiendishly viral plot.
Part I. Excuses
Jason is tough. He’s 33 and in the prime of his life. He outworks most people at his office where he is the robust and handsome senior vice president of
sales. He’s a super-human. He is just one of those guys who never gets sick. And that is his excuse for not getting a flu shot. Anyway, he reasons, the flu virus only gives him a light cough. By the way, it is true that the virus reacts differently to different people. But a healthy person can carry it to others.
Lacey is not so tough. She’s highly active at 72 and reasonably healthy. She still works as a talented artist and teaches at a local college part-time. Her art will be featured in an art center exhibit in November. Between her work and her family, she just doesn’t have time to get a flu shot. That’s her excuse.
Part II. Contagion
Jason coughed into the warm air at a charity dinner, catered by talented Chef Vigo and a troupe of winsome waiters. Dinner was delicious. So, he gave Vigo a check and a hearty handshake. (There’s that cough, again.) Lacey won a volunteer’s award at that dinner. And J.J. handed her a trophy with great gusto and hugged her with congratulations.
Thus, he passed Lacey the flu. At first, Lacey thought she just had a cold, and she shook it off. Of course, she went to class to help her art students in the college studio.
Part III. Very Young and Very Old
Baby Alice was four months old. With pride in her new great-grandchild, Lacey held her and kissed her tiny face. She was very glad she could babysit one night. Not long after, Lacey lays in the hospital. She is so sick with flu and subsequent pulmonary infection. She might not live to ever pick up a paintbrush again. A week later, Baby Alice has to go to the ER at midnight with severe flu symptoms and dehydration.
The baby won’t die, but her little lungs are permanently scarred and will give her problems all her life. Back at the college, the dean of Fine Arts worries that almost the entire art department is absent or excused for sickness.
Almost a month after the Charity Dinner, Chef Vigo discovers half his crew won’t be able to cater an exclusive society dinner. Distracted by his predicament he almost forgets to wash his hands while preparing the Caesar salad. He wonders if his part-time college student staff have taken their flu vaccinations.
Part IV. No Justice
Jason spends the weekend caring for his wife and nursing his three young children. Recently, they came down with the flu. He even has to stay home Monday and Tuesday because his wife is too sick to care for them and they’re too sick for school. He’s amazed the people around him do not have his stamina or immunity.
At FLASS, the doctors and staff wish that folks like Jason in the mini-case-study above would realize how much their community suffers when they neglect their flu shots.
How Vaccinations Protect You within Two Weeks: Get Armed Against the Flu
To put it simply, the vaccines incite antibodies. The antibodies create customized protection against infection using the dead viruses that are in the vaccine. “The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses. The viruses used in the laboratory are the ones research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.”
On the one hand, Trivalent vaccines offer protection against 3 viruses: an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. On the other hand, Quadrivalent vaccines protect against the same viruses as the trivalent vaccine. Then, you get the plus of protection against an additional influenza virus known as “B”. We invite you to use the list below to match your vaccination to your age group or health condition:
First: A Look at the Trivalent Flu Vaccinations
- Standard-dose Trivalent Flu Shots: These contain vaccines that are manufactured using virus grown in eggs. (Unless you have a very severe egg allergy, don’t worry about the eggs.
This technology has been successful for 70 years now.) “People with egg allergies can receive any licensed, recommended age-appropriate influenza vaccine and no longer have to be monitored for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine.
People who have severe egg allergies should be vaccinated in a medical setting and be supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.”
- High-dose Trivalent Flu Shot: People 65 and over should get this shot.
- Recombinant Trivalent Shot (egg-free) Experts have slated this shot for you if you are 18 years old, or older. Doctors state that pregnant women can safely take the recombinant trivalent shot.
- Adjuvant Trivalent Flu Shot: This vaccine is made with an adjuvant, a cell-based matter instead of eggs. If you are 65 and older, this new addition to the flu shot menu might keep you healthy and strong throughout the flu season. The vaccine in this flu vaccination has an ingredient that provokes a stronger immune response in the patient’s body.
Special Note: FLASS reminds you, “The nasal spray flu vaccine (live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV) should not be used during 2017-2018.” Most flu shots are given in the arm (muscle) with a needle. One trivalent vaccine formulation can be given with a jet injector, for persons aged 18 through 64 years.
Second: A Look at the Quadrivalent Flu Vaccinations
Doctors include several different varieties of quadrivalent flu vaccines, ear-marked for differing age groups. The CDC has approved for some of them for children as young as 6 months. See the quadrivalent vaccines listed briefly below:
- The Intradermal Quadrivalent Flu Vaccine: Scientists designed this shot for injection into the skin. Health professionals inject it into the skin whereas normally the vaccine goes into the muscle. They use a smaller needle than the regular flu shot. However, that does not mean it is for children. Specialists approved this vaccine only for people ages 18 through 64 years of age.
- The Quadrivalent Flu Shot: This is a great choice of vaccine for people 4 years old and older. It is grown in a cell culture instead of an egg, and it provides protection for all four types of viruses.
- The Recombinant Quadrivalent Vaccine: This is a safe vaccination if you are 18 years of age and older, including pregnant women (new this season).
Our Red Alert High-Risk Group Bulletin:
You are at a high risk of complications from the flu if you are a young child or a pregnant woman. People who have chronic health conditions also fit into this High-Risk Category. We include you if you suffer asthma, diabetes, heart disease or type of pulmonary disease. Likewise, if you have celebrated 65 birthdays, there is no doubt you belong to this group.
Vaccination Take-Aways: It’s Time for Your Flu Shot
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) strongly stated that every human being, aged 6 months or older needs a flu shot. For more information, check out our definitive flu article from a previous blog.
As you in this article, you have noticed that this year, you might have some choices about which shot you take, and when you take it. But getting the vaccination is the highest priority. FLASS highly recommends that you speak with your healthcare professional concerning which shot is best for you.