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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

For me, either!  Well, truth is, I hope not  for any of us.  Today is the first day of fall and yesterday, I talked to you about some of the many over-the counter medications cold & flu out there and which of them may or may not be best for you.  Today, I thought it was a good idea to follow up with a little talk about the FLU, (alone), since we're getting into the start of flu season.  And if you've ever had a case, you know how miserable having the flu can make you.
Those nasty-old flu symptoms come on strong and fast!
Oh, those nasty-old flu symptoms come on strong and fast: muscle aches, muscle pains, fever, headaches, get too sick to want anything but to lay in bed all day, don't you?  If you've ever had to fight the flu or someone in your family has, then you know it can knock you out for a whole week, easily!  And the flu doesn't care how healthy and what good shape you're in to begin with either.  It can deliver a knockout punch, even to a healthy person.  And who wants that?!  So the question is, should you get a flu shot this year?
I know lots of people who simply refuse to get them and they never get the flu.  (Knock wood!)  But for the very young, older adults and those with weak or compromised immune systems, the risks of complications, such as pneumonia, are much higher.  Talk to your doctor about your own risks.  And if he or she suggests you need a flu shot, you should do it soon.  This year's vaccine is the same as last year's, but you need to get a fresh shot for the new flu season.  If you get your shot now, it should protect you until April, when the flu virus begins to subside.  The vaccine prevents the flu up to 80% of the time in adults younger than age 60 and about half that time for those older than 65.  And by the way, if after getting the shot, you still end up getting the flu, you usually end up with a milder case.
You can get a flu shot just about everywhere these days.
It seems you can get a flu shot just about everywhere these days, from the doctor's office, to the corner drugstore or even at your church or synagogue.  So, where should you go for yours?  Actually, wherever it's most convenient.  Drugstores, work places, community centers, any place that offers flu shots must adhere to the same government standards of cleanliness as your doctor's office.  Don't know where to go for yours?  Go to, type in your ZIP code and, there, you'll be able to find the nearest place to your home to get a flu shot.
The vaccine should not cost you anything---no co-pay and no deductible.  The Affordable Care Act now requires that insurers fully cover preventive care and flu shots definitely fall into that category.  That's true whether you have insurance from your employer or an individual health care plan you pay for on your own.  But if you select a location to get your shot that doesn't accept your insurance, you may have to pay up front and be reimbursed later.
Like I said, some people skip getting the shot and don't get the flu.  But I'd rather you play it safe, talk to your doctor and find out if you should get a flu shot.  Because one thing I want in 2014 is...NO FLU, FOR YOU!  (And for me either.)
Have a safe, happy and HEALTHY fall!