TRI-CITIES, TN/VA (WJHL)- Tis the season of sniffles and sneezes, but with warmer temperatures you may have neglected getting your flu vaccination.
After what some experts said seemed like an unsuccessful flu vaccine last year … many people may be second guessing getting the flu shot this year, but advanced practice nurse, Sarah Taylor, tells us it’s important that everyone get the seasonal shot.
Taylor said, “I believe that everyone should get a flu shot if they are a candidate.” She said if you don’t have allergies and are over six months of age, then you are encouraged to get the shot as a form of protection.
According to the centers for disease control, over 125,000 people tested positive for the flu during last year’s flu season which showed an elevated activity of flu viruses, but that doesn’t mean this year’s shot will be as unsuccessful as last year’s.
“We never know what the strain is going to be like,” Taylor said. What they do know, Taylor said if that developers of the vaccinations “try to get it as close to last year’s strain as possible to provide the most protection as they can, and it’s good to be as protected as possible.”
Clorissa Sauls tells me she caught the flu last year, but has been vaccinated this flu season and is hoping to have a healthier new year. Sauls said, “I felt horrible. It’s probably the worst sickness I’ve had in a long time”. She added, “I had just recently had a baby, last year, and I got it a few weeks after I returned to work.”
Taylor said both very young and elderly people are most susceptible to the harsh effects of the flu virus. This means it’s important for people like Sauls, with young children, to be as proactive as they possibly can be.
Sauls told me that’s partially why she’s so adamant about getting the flu shot each year. “It’s actually very serious. A lot of people take it lightly, but it can kill you, especially if you have a weak immune system” Sauls said. She added, “Both of my grandparents have terminal cancer so I definitely couldn’t be around them either when I had the flu”.
Experts, like Taylor, say it’s not only a good idea for your own health to get vaccinated, but for anyone you could come into contact with.
Taylor said, “In general if other people are unable or unwilling to get their flu shot then having the flu shot yourself can help to protect others”. She added, “Even if you’ve been exposed, it will give others some protection as well.”
And with flu season about to be starting its peak season, Taylor said it’s not too late to go get yours.
“It’s definitely not too late to get yours, especially this year,” Taylor said. She added, “We have not seen flu rush start yet … so, I would say anyone who has not had a flu shot, it would be a good time for you to come in and get one.”
Taylor said the flu vaccine can significantly improve your chances of not getting the flu. She added that those who have been vaccinated and still contract the while flu season usually wraps up in March, it’s not unusual to see cases even later than that.