Health officials urge community to receive flu vaccine

TIDELANDS HEALTH

According to Tidelands Health, contracting seasonal flu is never fun, and it can be downright deadly.

Tidelands Health is encouraging community residents, and particularly those at high risk, to receive a flu vaccine as soon as possible. Flu activity is currently low, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but will increase.

Everyone ages 6 months and older should get a vaccine, said Dr. Alexis Brown, a family physician with Tidelands Waccamaw Community Care at Socastee. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to be effective.

“Getting an annual flu vaccine takes very little time compared to the number of days of school or work you might miss if you contract the virus,” Dr. Brown said. “It only takes one cough or sneeze from an infected person to cause days’ worth of agony.”

The danger of the flu to high-risk groups is even more substantial than among the broader population because the virus can cause serious, and sometimes fatal, complications. The seasonal flu can aggravate existing chronic illnesses and cause people to develop potentially fatal secondary infections, such as bacterial pneumonia.

People at high risk include seniors, very young children, pregnant women and individuals with certain health conditions such as heart disease, asthma and weakened immune systems. However, even healthy adults and children can die from the flu.

“With few exceptions, there’s really no reason not to get the vaccine,” Dr. Brown said. “It’s the smart thing to do.”

Dr. Brown stressed the vaccine, which must be repeated annually to be effective each flu season, will not cause people to get the flu. Flu vaccines are made either with non-infectious, “inactivated” virus or viral particles.

Individuals interested in the flu vaccine are encouraged to contact their health care provider.

Employers interested in offering onsite flu vaccine clinics to their employees can contact Shannon King with Tidelands Health Business Health Solutions at (843) 652-8196. The wellness program offers employers a variety of free and low-cost onsite screenings, flu shot clinics and help navigating workers’ compensation.

 

Information above is from a press release