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Get Your Flu Shot – What You Need To Know

Flu vaccines are generally given at the beginning of the “flu season” – usually late October or early November in the U.S. However, they may be given as late as March, and still provide some benefit. Most people achieve protection from the flu approximately 2 weeks after receiving the vaccine. Many companies offer flu shots on-site, so check with your HR department or wellness coordinator to see if this is being offered. ODS is doing this very thing for our own employees next week.  

Symptoms of the flu include fever, chills, sore muscles, and cough. Thousands of people in the U.S. die each year from the flu or its complications. Most of those who die are the elderly, young children, or people with compromised immune systems.

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, anyone who wants to reduce their risk of the flu should get a flu vaccine. The flu shot is for people age 6 months and older. People at risk for more serious flu infections should always get a flu vaccine every year.

You should get a flu shot every year if you:

  • Are age 18 – 50 and want to reduce your chance of getting influenza
  • Are a health care worker
  • Provide essential community services
  • Live in dormitories or other crowded conditions
  • Have in-home contact with children who are younger than 5 years old
  • Live in a nursing home or extended care facility
  • Live with people who have chronic health problems
  • Have chronic lung or heart disease
  • Have sickle cell anemia or other hemoglobinopathies
  • Have kidney disease, anemia, severe asthma, diabetes, or chronic liver disease
  • Have a weakened immune system (including those with cancer or HIV/AIDS)
  • Receive long-term steroid treatment for any condition
  • Are a pregnant woman
  • Are a woman who will be pregnant during flu season

Most people have no side effects from the flu shot. Soreness at the injection site or minor aches and low grade fever may be present for several days. The regular seasonal flu shot has been shown to be safe for pregnant women and their babies.

Not sure if you have cold, flu, or just allergies? Check your symptoms online! Log into your myODS account and check out our interactive Health & Symptom Evaluation listed under WorldDoc. If you do not have ODS, you may be able to find similar features with your own health plan.

2 Comments

  1. Katie

    I did not get a flu shot in 2010 and had the worst flu ever…known in our house as “the bad flu of 2010″. I will always get my flu shot now, never want to live through that again!

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