Flu season is here again.....and flu shots are available!
According the the CDC website, flu seasons are unpredictable but begin as early as October. The vaccine is already available in San Antonio, so that means it is time for everyone to get his/her shot! "It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection" (CDC, 2011).
All of our NICU nurses and staff receive the vaccination each year, in order to protect our high risk population of patients. For NICU parents and families this is an important step that may prevent your infant from getting sick. The national recommendation is that anyone over the age of 6 months get a flu vaccination. "It’s especially important that certain people get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu–related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu–related complications.
- Pregnant women
- Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
- People 50 years of age and older
- People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
- People who live in nursing homes and other long–term care facilities
- People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
- Health care workers
- Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
- Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated) (CDC, 2011)."
Most physician offices, medical clinics, and even pharmacies are offering flu shots right now. Some insurance companies and Medicare plans will also cover the expense of a vaccine.
If you are a NICU family member, please consider getting your flu shot right away.
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Julie Hudson, MSN, RN
CDC. (2011). 2011-12 Influenza and vaccine and vaccination information. From www.cdc.gov/flu/flu_vaccine_updates.htm