It's your responsibility to protect your family. TThe best way to protect your family and community from influenza, also known as the flu, is by getting your flu shot. Even the healthiest person who has never had seasonal influenza are at risk and need to be vaccinated for themselves as well as so they do not spread it to others. It's that simple.
Influenza is more serious than you think. Influenza causes more hospitalizations and deaths in children and adults than any other vaccine-preventable disease in the United States. In the 2012-2013 influenza season, more than 150 children were documented to have died from influenza; many of them were healthy and not vaccinated against influenza. Influenza is also the 8th-leading cause of death in the United States among people of all ages.
Influenza can worsen chronic medical conditions - don't put your family's health at risk. We have MANY individuals in our community with compromised immune systems. Influenza can worsen these conditions or cause serious complications in people with certain underlying medical conditions, such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease, cancers, etc. Thus for any health care worker or others, who are frequently in contact with these individuals, it becomes an OBLIGATION to be vaccinated to give additional protection to these at-risk people.
Immunizing the family helps protect vulnerable infants. Children less than 6 months of age are too young to be vaccinated against influenza, but they are at the greatest risk of hospitalization for it. To create a protective "cocoon" of immunity around unvaccinated infants, parents should get older siblings, themselves and all other close contacts of the baby immunized.
Keep your kids at school and yourself at work, where you belong. You have plenty to worry about without having to get kids caught up on missed school work, a big game, or any other school related activities. Never mind that when kids miss school, parents often lose work days to stay home and care for them.
Your child doesn't live in a bubble. Children share close quarters inside schools and child care facilities. And let's face it - their hygiene habits are usually less than par! Your child is constantly touching, playing and sharing with others. It's no wonder more children get influenza every year than people of any other age group. So when you can't be there to protect your child, the vaccine is. Also this is the perfect time of year to re-enforcing good hand washing habits!
Why keep taking the annual seasonal influenza gamble? This could be the year your luck runs out. To prevent influenza, place your bets on immunizing your child and yourselves.
Getting your family immunized is easy. In addition to your primary health care professional, many local hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, retail stores and even some employers hold vaccination clinics. We don't care where you get it, just get it!! After the Annual Flu Clinic, flu shot will also be available at the Morton County Health Department as a walk-in; and at the Morton County Medical Clinic by appointment.
The influenza vaccine is safe and effective. Seasonal influenza vaccine is safe, time tested and provides a good level of protection against influenza. Of course, as with all medications, vaccines can be associated with some mild, short-term side effects. Immunization is the best way to prevent influenza. The influenza vaccine can reduce chances of getting the flu by 70 to 90 percent and, if someone gets vaccinated but still gets the flu, chances are they will get a less severe case.
Why not? Given that influenza immunization is such a simple and safe way to help protect your health, your child's health and your family's health, why not take advantage of it?
Get the Flu shot…NOT the flu!! Stay tuned for our Annual Flu Clinic dates to be announced.
*If you have any questions, you may call the Morton County Health Department at (620) 697-2612.
Morton County Health Department, the physicians of the Morton County Medical Clinic and the Morton County Emergency Medical Services would like to decrease the number of flu cases in the county; please help us by getting your flu shot. Together, our combined efforts are making a positive difference in Morton County!