The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending that everyone aged 6 months and older receive an influenza vaccination. Influenza vaccinations are available at St. John’s Mercy Corporate Health in Washington.
Seasonal flu activity in the United States generally peaks between late December and early March. Within two weeks of getting a flu vaccine, antibodies develop in the body and provide protection against flu.
This year’s vaccination includes protection from last year’s H1N1, and just one vaccination is needed for protection, said Joan Huxel, RN, BSN, manager of operations for St John's Mercy Corporate Health. Huxel added, “The CDC says vaccinations may provide immunity for up to a year, so the earlier the vaccination is received the longer individuals will have protection. Now and in the coming weeks is the best time to receive your flu vaccination.”
Flu symptoms often mimic those of a cold with nasal congestion, cough, aches and fatigue. Colds rarely come with a fever above 101 degrees. A fever is usually one of the first symptoms of the flu. Other symptoms are body and muscle aches. Vomiting and diarrhea is associated with H1N1. Vaccination is the best way to avoid influenza. It also can be avoided with frequent and thorough hand washing.
“Your hands can look and feel clean and still be contaminated with germs that spread illnesses and disease,” Huxel said. “To help prevent colds and flu, rub your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds. Doing this frequently and being vaccinated are the most important preventative measures we can take.”
Influenza vaccinations are available from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at St. John’s Mercy Corporate Health,
1701 Heritage Hills Drive in Washington. The vaccinations are appropriate for individuals ages 4 and up and include “high dose” vaccinations for those 65 and older. Immunizations are $30 each, by injection or mist. Payments may be made by cash, check and credit card. Medicare Part B, GHP Coventry and Mercy Health Plans also are accepted. Appointments are not necessary. For more information, call 636.239.8844.