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Flu Shots: It’s Not Too Late!

Feb 01, 2017 08:30AM, Published by Jason Huddle, Categories: Health+Wellness, In Print

Flu Shots: It’s Not Too Late!

Although it is usually recommended that people be vaccinated for the flu in early fall, “as long as the flu virus is still active and causing illnesses, it’s not too late to be vaccinated,” according to The Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

George Veltri, director of immunization programs and a pharmacist with Cannon Pharmacy, agrees. “We are still seeing several patients coming into our stores with prescriptions for the flu vaccine,” he says.

“Over the years, I have asked a number of our patients who come in with the flu why they did not get a shot. The major reasons are, no. 1, I am afraid of needles; no. 2, The flu shot that I had in the past gave me the flu; and, no. 3, I had the flu in the past and the symptoms weren’t that bad.”

Veltri says the needles used today are very thin, and most of his patients report “hardly feeling a thing.” He also says it is a myth that the flu shot can cause the flu. “The CDC has repeatedly proven this,” he explains. “It is an inactivated, dead, vaccine…it can take up to two weeks for the antibodies in the flu vaccine to become effective.”

According to Veltri, it is more likely that some patients wait until several people they have been in contact with become sorely ill, then they come in for a shot. Two days later, they come down with the flu and then blame the shot. “I always say, ‘It’s not the shot that gave you the flu, it was Harry at work who is to blame.’

 Finally, Veltri says that many of those who say they had the flu in the past and it “wasn’t that bad” most likely had a bad cold or upper respiratory infection. “Ask those who have really had the flu and they will tell you, ‘It’s the same as a bad cold, times 10,’ ” he says.

While influenza virus symptoms are severe, the CDC reports that less than 50 percent of Americans got the flu vaccine in 2016.

While most consider the flu as an inconvenience, it kills thousands each year, especially the very young and elderly. Veltri stresses, “I urge you to come and see us and get your shot – it’s not too late.

Article By: Jason Huddle and George Veltri

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