Pike County Health Department is administering influenza injections (shots) as well as flu mist, which can be given to healthy individuals ages 2-49. The Flu vaccine fee for both children and adults is $17.00 or Medicare or Medicaid can be billed. Please bring your Medicare card with you.
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year. This recommendation has been in place since February 24, 2010, CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted in favor of "universal" influenza vaccination in the United States to protect as many people as possible against the flu.
Flu vaccines are designed to protect against the three influenza viruses that experts predict will be the most common during the upcoming 2011-12 season. Each season, this includes an influenza B virus, an influenza A (H1N1) virus and an influenza A (H3N2) virus. (These are the three virus subtypes that are circulating most commonly among people today.) More information about influenza vaccines is available at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Preventing Seasonal Flu With Vaccination.
The 2011–12 influenza vaccine can protect you from getting sick from these three viruses, or it can make your illness milder if you get a related but different influenza virus strain.
This season, people 65 years and older will have two flu shots available to choose from - a regular dose flu vaccine and a new flu vaccine designed for people 65 and older with a higher dose. The high dose vaccine is associated with a stronger immune response to vaccination. However, whether the stronger immune response results in greater protection against influenza illness in older adults is not yet known.
Special Instructions for Children Being Vaccinated Against Seasonal Flu for the First Time
Children 6 months to 9 years of age need to get 2 doses of flu vaccine 4 or more weeks apart during their first season of vaccination.
The first dose should be given as soon as vaccine becomes available, and the second dose should be given 28 more days after the first dose. The first dose “primes” the immune system; the second dose provides immune protection. Children who only get one dose but need two doses can have reduced or no protection from a single dose of flu vaccine. Two doses are necessary to protect these children. If your child needs the two doses, begin the process early, so that children are protected before influenza starts circulating in your community. Be sure to follow up to get your child a second dose if they need one. It usually takes about two weeks after the second dose for protection to begin.
About Seasonal Influenza
Commonly called "the flu," influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses.
- According to CDC, between 5 and 20 percent of the U.S. population develops seasonal influenza each year. More than 200,000 people are hospitalized from its complications and about 36,000 people die.
- Symptoms of the flu include fever, headache, body aches, chills, extreme exhaustion, and weakness.
- Influenza is spread through coughing or sneezing. You can also get it by touching objects carrying the virus, especially when you then touch your mouth or nose. Such objects include telephones and door knobs.
- Most healthy adults may be able to infect others one day before their own symptoms develop and up to five days after becoming sick.
- Washing your hands often is a key strategy for preventing influenza. Teach your kids about the importance of hand washing. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
- Most people recover from the flu within one to two weeks. But some develop serious complications such as pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.
Refer to Key Facts About Influenza for more information.
Types of Flu Vaccines
There are two types of flu vaccines:
- “Flu shots” — inactivated vaccines (containing killed virus) that are given with a needle. There are three flu shots being produced for the United States market now.
- The regular seasonal flu shot is “intramuscular” which means it is injected into muscle (usually in the upper arm). It has been used for decades and is approved for use in people 6 months of age and older, including healthy people, people with chronic medical conditions and pregnant women. Regular flu shots make up the bulk of the vaccine supply produced for the United States.
- A hi-dose vaccine for people 65 and older which also is intramuscular. This vaccine was first made available during the 2010-2011 season.
- An intradermal vaccine for people 18 to 64 years of age which is injected with a needle into the “dermis” or skin. This vaccine is being made available for the first time for the 2011-2012 season.
- The nasal–spray flu vaccine — a vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses that is given as a nasal spray (sometimes called LAIV for “Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine”). The viruses in the nasal spray vaccine do not cause the flu. LAIV is approved for use in healthy* people 2 to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.
About two weeks after vaccination, antibodies develop that protect against influenza virus infection. Flu vaccines will not protect against flu-like illnesses caused by non-influenza viruses.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention