Contact your primary care provider (Pediatrician, Family or Internal Medicine Practitioner) and schedule an appointment by calling 541-382-4900.

It’s hard to think about flu season when the weather is nice but with children back to school already, sick days are upon some parents. When you visit your primary care provider (Pediatrician, Family Practitioner or Internist) in late September, you will be offered a flu shot. Some patients are wary of the shot — many think it doesn’t work or will make you sick but getting vaccinated each year is the best way to protect yourself against the flu and it’s an old wives’ tale that the vaccine can make you sick or doesn’t work.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone gets the flu shot each year, but there are some population groups that are especially vulnerable. It is essential these groups receive the flu shot because they are at risk of having serious complications from influenza or they care for people at high risk for developing flu complications.

These high-risk groups include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
  • People 50 years of age and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including: Health care workers, household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu and household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

The CDC recommends getting the seasonal flu vaccine as soon as vaccine becomes available in their community. They recommend vaccination before December since this timing ensures that protective antibodies are in place before flu activity is typically at its highest. The CDC continues to encourage people to get vaccinated throughout the flu season, which can begin as early as October and last as late as May.

Over the course of the flu season, many different influenza virus strains circulate at different times and in different places. As long as flu viruses are still spreading in the community, vaccination can provide protective benefit.

For more on preventing the flu, visit the CDC’s website.

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