It will soon be flu season — Be sure to get your shot

Story by – YKHC Public Relations and Immunization Dept.

September 12, 2013 - 3 minutes read

FluVaccine_HandsEvery fall, YKHC collaborates with the State of Alaska Public Health Nursing in attempting to get as many flu vaccines as possible and encourages vulnerable populations especially (elders, children, pregnant women) to get the vaccine.

We were successful in vaccinating nearly one out of every three people in the YK Delta last year. Our goal this year is to vaccinate everyone 6 months and older.

The flu is a serious viral respiratory illness. People with the flu may have fever/ chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, and fatigue. It is spread by respiratory droplets. People may be infectious even before they show symptoms—another reason it’s important to get vaccinated.

Prevention is best and the best way to prevent the flu is through the vaccine, frequent hand washing, and not spreading the flu by staying home if you have symptoms.

YKHC provides all employees with flu shots in order to decrease the risk of becoming sick from the flu. The flu shot not only helps protect employees, but protects our patients, visitors, and our families because it helps us not pass it on.

Can a flu shot give you the flu? No. A flu shot cannot cause flu illness.

What is in the flu shot? Each year, the flu shot is made from 3 strains of flu virus, 2 type A strains and 1 type B strain. This year some flu vaccines will have a second B strain added.

Do flu shots really work? Yes. There are many studies showing the effectiveness of the flu vaccine.

Should I take a flu shot if I am allergic to eggs?  If you can eat eggs, or foods containing eggs such as cookies and cakes without reaction it is safe to take a flu shot. If you only have hives after eating these products, you may also take flu shots.  If you have more serious, systemic reactions you should see a provider or a physician with expertise in managing allergic conditions for further evaluation before getting a flu shot.

Why do some people not feel well after getting the flu shot? Common reactions to the flu shot include soreness, redness or swelling at the spot the shot was given, low grade fever, and immune response to the vaccine (aches/ soreness). These common reactions are considerably less severe than symptoms caused by actual flu illness. Additionally, the “stomach flu” is not seasonal influenza.

Information in this article gathered from