Doctors, CDC recommend families get flu shot early

September 24, 2013

By Staff

Last year’s flu season affected an alarming number of people, and experts predict this year’s flu season could strike as early as October. That’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local physicians recommend families protect themselves now with the 2013 influenza vaccine.

Local AFC/Doctors Express and American Family Care facilities are stocking up on flu vaccines and will have them available throughout the flu season. No appointment is required and patients may walk in for a flu shot at their convenience.

Bartell Drugs has launched an extensive seasonal flu vaccination program offering convenient in-store vaccinations for individuals at 61 Bartell Drugs locations, and an off-site flu clinic program serving area businesses and retirement communities. The Issaquah Bartell Drugs is at 6700 E. Lake Sammamish Parkway S.E.

Flu shots at Bartell are available any time, without an appointment, during pharmacy hours. Pharmacists can immunize anyone 5 years or older (ages 5 through 17 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian).

For local businesses or retirement communities with 15 or more employees or residents, Bartell Drugs is launching an off-site flu clinic program. For businesses, the program provides a convenient way to decrease lost productivity and time due to sickness.

Employees vaccinated against influenza help protect their families and co-workers from contracting the virus. For retirement communities, the program not only helps residents protect themselves, but getting a flu shot also protects those around them, some of whom may be at higher risk from complications associated with the flu.

For more information on Bartell’s off-site flu clinic program, call 206-764-5574 or email flu@bartelldrugs.com.

 

Flu fast facts

  • The U.S. flu season can run from October through May.
  • The CDC reports last year’s 2012-2013 flu season resulted in more hospitalizations of people older than 65 than any flu season on record. Flu-related illnesses cause about 200,000 hospitalizations each year.
  • People most at risk of the flu and further complications are young children, folks older than age 65 and pregnant women. However, the pandemic H1N1 that surfaced in 2009 was most common in teenagers and young adults.
  • 90 percent of flu-related deaths are people age 65 or older.
  • Pediatricians typically offer vaccines for children only. Pharmacies typically offer vaccines only for adults. AFC and AFC Doctors Express Centers offer one-stop-flu shots and mists for the entire family — both children and adults (ages of children vaccinated vary by center).
  • The past few years, on average, 42 percent of Americans were vaccinated against the flu — meaning more than half of all Americans don’t typically get a flu shot.

 

Beat the bug

  • Bring your own pen — to the bank, grocery store, even to touch the ATM. Anything a sick person touches can harbor germs, including money, mail, ATM keypads, elevator buttons, etc.
  • Use paper — replace hand towels in bathrooms with paper towels. They’re not as pretty, but paper towels can help get rid of a ton of germs that live in damp towels.
  • Wash hands frequently — use soap, warm water and rinse long enough to say the alphabet or sing “Happy Birthday.” Recent studies show plain soap and water work just fine.
  • Use a proper hand sanitizer (at least 60 percent alcohol) anytime you touch anything. Make sure you use sanitizer, even under fingernails, where germs hide.
  • Clean with disinfectant — viruses and bacteria can live up to two hours or longer on doorknobs, toys, TV remote controls, keyboards, mouse pads, refrigerator handles, counter tops, railings, faucets, bathroom floors and more.

Learn more about the 2013-14 flu season at www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2013-2014.htm.

 

Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Health and Human Services, Infectious Disease Foundation

 

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