Getting a flu shot this year will arm you with multiple weapons, according to Jeannine Wilson, director of the Hempstead County Health Unit.
Getting a flu shot this year will arm you with multiple weapons, according to Jeannine Wilson, director of the Hempstead County Health Unit. Wilson said the annual flu shot clinic will be held Friday at the Hope Fair Park Coliseum. “This year's vaccine will include several vaccines in one for several strains of flu,” she said. “Flu can make some people much sicker than others,” according to Health Unit information on the vaccine. “These people include young children, people 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with certain health conditions, such as heart, lung, or kidney disease, or a weakened immune system. Flu vaccine is especially important for these people, and anyone who is in close contact with them.” Wilson said the immunizations are important for everyone. “Contrary to popular belief, pregnant women can take the flu shot without harming the fetus,” she said. “This year's vaccine contains two strains of Type A and one strain of Type B. Ages two through 49 can receive the nasal mist if they so desire. Children from six months old and up can also be vaccinated. “The flu vaccine is the best protection we have to prevent the flu,” Wilson said. “On October 25, we will be administering shots from 9 a. m.-5 p. m. at the coliseum and if a person can't get to the coliseum, we will come out to their vehicle outside the coliseum and give them their vaccination.” The local immunization program remains popular, she said. “Last year, we saw over 1,000 people,” Wilson said. “We ask that people bring their Medicaid, Medicare, or insurance card with them when they come.” There are two types of flu vaccine. If you get a shot, you are getting an inactivated flu vaccine, which does not contain any live influenza virus. A different, live, weakened influenza vaccine is sprayed into the nostrils as a mist. The flu vaccine is recommended every year, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. Children six months through eight years of age should get two doses the first year they get vaccinated, according to ADH. It takes about two weeks for protection to develop after the vaccination, and protection lasts several months to a year. “Good handwashing and staying away from people who are sick with the flu are two good points to remember,” Wilson said. “Always cover your cough if you have one, and remember to get your flu shot.”