Get Your Flu Shot on Oct. 30th!
Great news! For your convenience and good health, Hertford County Public Health Authority has partnered with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) and Maxim Health Systems to host a flu shot clinic right here onsite. You and your family members, age four (4) and over, are invited to participate, because vaccination is the best protection from the flu. (Children under age four (4) must receive shots from their primary care physician.)
Please note that participants will be required to bring their BCBSNC ID card and a photo ID with them to the clinic, and to sign a consent form before receiving a flu shot.
I have included answers to frequently asked flu questions below. Feel free to visit the BCBSNC Web site at www.bcbsnc.com/flu for more information, related links, and the latest flu news. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact me.
Flu Shot Clinic Information
Date(s):Oct. 30, 2012
Location(s):Health Department-Winton, NC
Cost per employee: FREE for those with BCBS Ins. Otherwise $30.00
Participants will be required to have proper identification and sign a consent form before receiving a flu shot. We cordially invite all employees and their family members to participate because vaccination is the best protection from the flu.
Cost per family member: $30.00 if NOT covered under employee’s BCBS Ins Policy.
Q: Will I get the flu from the flu shot?
A: No. Flu vaccine is created from dead or inactive viruses that are not contagious.
Q: Do I need a flu shot every year?
A: Yes. Influenza viruses continually change every year. A new vaccine is used annually to fight the most current influenza virus. In addition, the antibody a person develops from the vaccine declines over time.
Q: When should I get a flu shot?
A: Influenza usually occurs from November until April, with activity peaking between late December and early March. The optimal time for flu shots is during October through November, however it is clinically beneficial to be vaccinated through December and January.
Q: Why get a flu shot?
A: Influenza usually leaves its victims unable to function for several days and is responsible for an average of 140,000 hospitalizations each year.* Getting an annual flu shot is your best protection.
*National Coalition for Adult Immunization, April 2000.
Q: Can children receive a flu shot?
A: Maxim will immunize children 4 years old and older. Children between the ages of 4 and 17 will require parental consent in order to receive their flu immunization. Parents of children under the age of 4 will be asked to check with their primary care physician about flu immunizations for their child.
Q: Should women who are pregnant receive a flu shot?
A: Flu shots are recommended for women at all stages of pregnancy. Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy may receive the flu shot without a prescription.
Q: How effective is the flu shot?
A: Flu vaccine has been determined to be about 75% effective in preventing the flu and is your best method of protection.
Q: Who should get a flu shot?
A: The CDC recommends that you receive a flu shot if you fit their criteria of high-risk or one of the following categories:
- Anyone who wants to reduce the risk of contracting the flu.
- Those over the age of 50
- People with high blood pressure, irregular heartbeat, a history of stroke or heart attack, a chronic disease, diabetes, a
compromised immune system, anemia, asthma or other breathing problems
- A health care worker with high-risk patients
- Those who have required regular medical follow-up or hospitalization during the preceding year because of chronic metabolic, kidney or blood cell diseases
- People traveling to a foreign country
- People living or working with persons who fit into one of these categories
Q: Can I still get the flu after I get the flu shot?
A: Yes. Like other vaccines, flu vaccine is not 100% effective and does not take effect until one or two weeks after it is received. During this time, you will be just as susceptible to contract the flu as individuals who have not received the vaccination. Still, the best option to prevent flu is to get a yearly flu shot.
Q: Am I classified as high-risk?
A: You are classified as high-risk if you fall under one of the following categories:
- 65 years of age or older
- A household contact of persons at increased risk of influenza-related complications
- A resident or employee of a nursing home or other chronic care facility where some of the residents have chronic medical conditions
- Have a chronic medical condition such as: asthma, or another lung disease, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, blood disease
- Have immune system problems caused either by disease (e.g., HIV or lymphoma) or by medication (e.g., chemotherapy or radiation therapy)
- A woman who will be in the second or third trimester of pregnancy during flu season
- A child or teenager, 6 months – 18 years of age, who is receiving long-term aspirin therapy (if under 18 years of age, see management at the clinic location for minimum age requirements)
- A healthcare worker who cares for high-risk patients at home
Q: What are the side effects of getting a flu shot?
A: For most people, vaccination causes no side effects. Less than 1/3 of those who receive a flu shot will experience some soreness at the vaccination site, and only 5 to 10 percent will suffer mild side effects such as low-grade fevers and headaches. Anyone who is allergic to eggs should avoid being vaccinated, since the virus used is grown in hens’ eggs.
Visit www.bcbsnc.com/flu for more answers to your flu-related questions.