Be Ready for Flu Season – Get Your Flu Shot!

It looks like 2019-2020 is going to be a tough flu season. The best way you can be prepared and stay healthy is to get your flu shot early!

There's more to fall than the start of school, pretty leaves and pumpkin spice. Fall actually is the best time to get vaccinated for the upcoming flu season.

Margie Kochsmier, MSN, RN, CMSRN, FHN Infection Control
Two years ago, H3N2 was the strain we saw most often and the media told people 'the flu shot wasn't effective'.

Many people decided not to get vaccinated because they thought it wouldn't help. That year, we saw an increase in pediatric deaths, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that more than 80 percent of those deaths were in unvaccinated children.

I've heard people say, 'it's too early to take the flu shot'. It takes two weeks to get protection after vaccination and we want to be protected early.
  – Margie Kochsmier, MSN, RN, CMSRN, FHN Infection Control

That early protection is even more important this year, Margie says.

"Because we're just the opposite season-wise, our flu season is a pretty good reflection of the Southern hemisphere, which typically sees flu cases start in April or May and ends in June and July. This year, however, they saw cases as early as March, and they saw three times the normal number of flu cases," Margie says.

Plus, the strain circulating was the A strain H3N2, which changes often, making it difficult to perfect the vaccine. When H3N2 is the predicted strain, the flu season usually starts earlier and makes more people sick.

You can get your flu shot at your healthcare provider's office. Just give the office a call to make an appointment. If you have questions about the flu vaccine, please contact your healthcare provider's office.

You should not get your flu shot at these clinics if you:

You must present a photo ID to receive an immunization.

For more information, call FHN Community Services at 815-599-7437.

Listen to Margie Kochsmier, MSN, RN, CMSRN, FHN Infection Control, discuss what you can to do prevent and treat the seasonal flu on Dial-a-Doc.

See our article in Insight Magazine.