Influenza or flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. The best way to prevent influenza is by getting a flu vaccination each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly Flu Vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease. While there are many different flu viruses, the flu vaccine is designed to protect against the flu strains that research indicates will cause the most illness during the flu season. Getting the flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available each year is best. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu.
The Chatham Health District offers flu vaccinations for persons 6 months and older. Clinics are held at various locations throughout the district. All vaccinations are administered by experienced, licensed nurses. The following flu vaccines are offered:
Quadrivalent Shot: contains 4 different flu viruses; for persons 6 months and older
FluMist: nasal spray vaccine contains 4 different flu viruses; for healthy persons who are 2-49 years old; not for pregnant women. Flu Mist is now the preferred vaccine for healthy children 2-8 years old.
High Dose Shot: contains 3 different flu viruses; formulated to provide a more robust immune response; for persons 65 years and older*