Last year brought with it one of the worst flu seasons in history. So this year, we all want and need to do what we can to avoid contracting this miserable mid-winter malady. The flu, after all, is not something to be taken lightly.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that flu-related hospitalizations since 2010 have ranged close to 700,000, while flu-related deaths are estimated to have ranged up to 56,000. The nasal spray vaccine, it turns out, has not been as effective in preventing the flu in recent years.
Once again, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is advising parents to choose the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) -- “the flu shot” -- when they vaccinate their children this fall. The CDC recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older, and especially very young children, older adults and those with compromised immune systems be vaccinated.
“While not perfect, the vaccine can provide months of protection throughout the long flu season,” said Michael Zuckman, MD, Internal Medicine specialist with White Plains Hospital Medical & Wellness in Armonk. “The vaccine is harmless, and should be part of every family’s back-to-work and back-to-school checklist in the fall.”
So, when is the best time to be vaccinated? “As early in the season as possible,” said Zuckman. While the shot can take up to two weeks to take effect, “The earlier it is given, the longer the potential period of protection of infection and spread of illness,” he said. What’s more? By getting vaccinated, you help facilitate what’s known as herd immunity, or the likelihood of reducing the spread of infection in a community or population. So for you, your family and your community, what’s a little pinch in exchange for a flu-free winter?
Bring the whole family to receive flu shots quickly and conveniently at White Plains Hospital Medical & Wellness in Armonk. Call (914) 849-7900 to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians.