National Influenza Vaccination Week: Monmouth County encourages residents to get their vaccines

Public health agencies say the flu vaccine is the best protection from the flu and its complications

Patients without access to a military treatment facility can get the influenza vaccine from a participating retail network pharmacy or their health care provider. Who is at the highest risk for having complications from it?

"We can not claim that the 43% of vaccinated people is the reason for the mild flu season so far", said Richard Webby, a flu scientist and adviser to the World Health Organization on recommendations for the composition of flu vaccines. This includes babies and young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and people 65 years and older.

About half the people in the 18- to-44 age group also haven't gotten a flu shot, noted Webby, who believes that "it's probably an uphill battle" trying to increase these vaccination rates. Explain why the flu is more serious and why vaccinations are crucial.

"Influenza is not just a bad cold", said Pruitt.

And, communicating the concept of "herd immunity" improves an individual's willingness to get vaccinated.

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is joining with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to observe National Influenza Vaccination Week, December 2 - December 9, 2018.

Evidently, some of the main reasons why they do not want to get vaccinated include concerns over the side effects or the actual efficacy of the flu vaccine, while others are merely not anxious that they will catch the flu.

The flu shot is available at health care providers walk-in clinics and participating pharmacies
The flu shot is available at health care providers walk-in clinics and participating pharmacies

This article is a condensed version of The Conversation article "Countering misinformation about flu vaccine is harder than it seems'". The CDC recommends flu vaccination for most people over the age of 6 months.

Myth: The flu vaccine is only necessary for the old and very young.

The mild season is a dramatic shift from the previous flu season, which was the deadliest in decades, with more than 80,000 flu-related deaths in the United States. That's not as high as the measles vaccine, but it still amounts to millions of cases of flu that should not have happened.

The two main factors in the effectiveness of the vaccine is the health of the patient and the match between the influenza viruses that the influenza vaccine is created to protect against and the influenza viruses spreading in the community.

Nurses can talk with patients and families about ways in which they can talk to their visitors about the importance of receiving the flu vaccine and can work with them to perhaps set limits or discourage visitors who have not been vaccinated.

Visit www.ldh.la.gov/fighttheflu for more information and resources.

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