PMH HealthBeat

Flu is here – Vaccine available 24/7 at PMH

Flu Season is officially here.

There have already been patients in Pocahontas County who have tested positive for influenza – a serious and potentially life-threatening disease. Because the flu has already arrived in Pocahontas County, Pocahontas Memorial Hospital Pharmacist Kari Cooper recommends getting vaccinated NOW.

Flu vaccine is in stock at PMH, local provider offices, retail pharmacies, and the health department. Flu Shots are available at PMH 24/7 for patients three years old through adult. Walk-ins are welcome or appointments can be made by calling 304-799-6200.

Flu vaccines are covered by most major insurances and the cash price is $30.

The influenza virus can change every year and a flu infection can affect people differently. During a regular flu season, 90 percent of flu-related deaths occur in people over 65 years old. An annual flu vaccine is an easy, safe way to reduce the chance of getting the seasonal flu. The ‘flu shot’ also decreases the chance of spreading a flu infection to others.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that Everyone, age six months and older, should get a flu vaccine every year. Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk of flu complications.

These people include:

•Those with chronic medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, chronic lung disease

•Adults age 50 or older

•Pregnant women

•Healthcare workers

•Children under the age of 2

It is recommended that people get vaccinated against influenza as soon as the vaccine becomes available and before the end of October. It takes about two weeks for your body to build the necessary antibodies that protect you against the flu.

The flu vaccine is needed yearly because the influenza viruses are constantly changing. The flu vaccine is formulated each year to keep up with these changes.

Getting a new vaccination every year is the best protection against the influenza virus.

Consult your provider before receiving a flu vaccine if you have a severe egg allergy, have had a serious reaction to a previous vaccination, or have a history of Guillain-Barre Syndrome. If you have a current, moderate to severe illness with fever, wait until you are recovered before receiving a flu vaccine.

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