Blog | Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Get your flu shot

Temperatures are dropping. Children are returning to school. (Parents are elated.) Families are planning a last summer outing on Labor Day. It must be time for flu shots.

This season's influenza vaccine has shipped from manufacturers. Our office just received them. So it's a good time to remind ourselves that the flu can be fairly nasty and that the most reliable way to protect yourself is the influenza vaccine.

The flu shot is recommended for everyone over six months of age. It's especially important for:

--people who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu. This includes people who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease; pregnant women and people 65 years and older;
--people who live with or care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications. This includes household contacts and caregivers of people with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.

The following groups should not receive the vaccine:
--people who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs,
--people who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination,
--children younger than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group),
--people who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated), and
--people with a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome

Follow the links below to learn more about the flu. And get the shot now, before the flu season starts.

Learn more:
Seasonal Influenza (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page)
Key Facts About Seasonal Flu Vaccine (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention page)
Google Flu Trends

Albert Fuchs, MD, FACP, graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine, where he also did his internal medicine training. Certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Dr. Fuchs spent three years as a full-time faculty member at UCLA School of Medicine before opening his private practice in Beverly Hills in 2000. Holding privileges at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, he is also an assistant clinical professor at UCLA's Department of Medicine. This post originally appeared at his blog.