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Flu Shots In!

Aug 28, 2016 | Health and Fitness, Medical Topics, Vaccines and Drugs

unnamedGetting a flu vaccine is the best way to prevent influenza illness and protect against its potentially deadly consequences. The CDC recommends all people over 6 months of age receive a flu shot. For all aspects of flu shot info, see this link. Remember this: take a flu shot for the ones you love, because if you don’t catch the flu, you can’t give it to others.

unnamed-2We have flu shots now and are giving them now in the office. When should you take a flu shot? This may sound glib, but you should take a flu shot at least 2 weeks before you are exposed to the flu, since it takes 2 weeks to develop immunity, once you get the shot. It’s not unreasonable to take a shot now. Drop by the office anytime during office hours.

That being said, flu season peaks from December through March, but epidemics have occurred October through May, and isolated cases may occur all year long. Going with the odds, you should take a shot before mid-October.

unnamed-1How about the high dose flu shot? This is a new vaccine and so far it looks promising in improving protection in those over 65. Older patients do not mount an immune response to vaccine as well as younger patients, so I plan to offer this version of the flu shot to those over 65 and those at higher risk for flu complications. Medicare plans to cover this higher cost shot.

unnamed-1How about 2 shots a year? Yes, we do this for higher risk patients too, although insurance will not cover the second one. Those with respiratory conditions such as COPD and asthma may benefit, as well as people who have a history of severe illness with the flu. In the past there has been a flu shot shortage, but now flu shots abound, so ethically, I don’t have a problem with giving 2 shots. Take the first one now and the second one in December.

Adventurous flu shots fly over rainbow on way to Ocracoke Island flu shot house calls, 8/21/16.

Adventurous flu shots fly over rainbow on way to Ocracoke Island flu shot house calls, 8/21/16.

Finally, what to do if you come down with the flu? Should you just ride it out? No. If you develop flu symptoms, such as high fever with body aches, headaches, cough, sore throat, call the office. Medicine to treat the flu works best if started within 48 hours of onset. Generally the fever is the key—if over 102 and you have respiratory symptoms it could be flu or a serious infection. Call us.

We have flu shots and I recommend taking one! Watch for the Priority Medicine pneumonia vaccine update coming in the future!

 

 

 

 

John T. Kihm, MD practices concierge internal medicine in Durham, NC. Feel free to share this news blog.

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Priority Medicine
John. T. Kihm, M.D., F.A.C.P.

3811 N. Roxboro Road – Suite B
Durham, NC 27704

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