Fight the Flu – Importance of flu vaccine remains high

VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice will once again offer flu clinics this year, some that remain drive-thru.

First introduced last year as the result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the nonprofit agency will continue drive-thru method of clinics this year to ensure everyone is able to get their important annual flu vaccine. Some locations have decided to bring clinics inside with COVID protocols in place. Although life continues to return to normalcy, the flu will remain a risk for all and vaccines should not be forgotten.

Influenza is a serious lung disease caused by a virus which spreads from person to person. Symptoms include fever, cough, chills, muscle aches, headache and sore throat. Although many are only sick for a few days, many die each year. The virus can make anyone ill – most deaths are in people over the age of 50 and the flu is particularly dangerous for young children.

Although the flu vaccine does not prevent the flu in all cases, it significantly lessens the impact the virus has on the body and reduces the severity of symptoms a person experiences.

“The flu vaccine remains a critical, safe and effective way to reduce your risk of getting the flu, to help you recover more quickly if you do get sick, and to protect vulnerable people around you,” said VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice Health Promotions RN Stephanie Moscato. “High dose vaccines will be available on a limited basis. These vaccines are intended for individuals over 65 years of age, but we cannot guarantee the availability of these doses.”

VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice will also be providing adult quadrivalent vaccines for anyone over the age of 18. It is particularly important for those with a chronic condition and caregivers of those at high-risk to be vaccinated.

The vaccine is developed yearly based on the strains expected to be most prevalent and it takes one to two weeks to take effect, but will protect you for several months.

The vaccine can cause some side effects – including temporary fever or aches – though most people have no reaction at all.

VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice is holding walk-in clinics on Wednesdays in December from 2 to 3 p.m. at its Guilford office.

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