If you’re a senior in the Woodland Hills area, you should get a flu shot. If you’re a medical professional or at least work in the health care industry, you should get a flu shot. If you’re receiving palliative care, you should get a flu shot.
If you haven’t figured it out yet, just about everyone should get a flu shot. That’s the recommendation of the Centers for Disease Control and other medical officials, as a way to not just decrease your odds of contracting it, but avoid getting it as severely, or even spread it to others.
The team at Accredited Home Care encourages all of our clients to make sure they get their flu shots this season, especially since many older people in weaker health are often considered to be at the highest risk for contracting the flu, and then if they catch it, it can hit them hard, and if complications occur, it can even be fatal.
We also encourage our staff, such as LVNs and RNs, to get their annual shot as well since so much of what we do involves working with clients in poor health and with weakened health conditions.
Because nurses are all caring people, none of them would like to learn that they accidentally infected one of the clients they’ve been trying to help. Clients appreciate learning more about different resources such as National Influenza Vaccination Week. The official celebration took place December 2-8 but there’s online information available all year long.
Why it’s complicated
The topic of flu vaccines and vaccinations in general unfortunately has led to some degree of controversy in recent years.
Some of this is due to activity from certain groups of people saying that all vaccines are useless, most are part of some sinister government plot, or they can make people sick and you’re better without one, and prayer is a smarter strategy.
At the same time, there is a simple lack of knowledge about what goes into a flu vaccine and the small risk of side effects that could affect some recipients. This fear, concern, and uncertainty sometimes make people opt out of getting the shot each year.
Because of all of the confusion, the CDC wants to find ways to provide correct and accurate info to everyone, especially those who need it the most and are in the highest risk groups. This includes a good deal of details at its official site.
For example, its Misconceptions page answers question like what happens if you still get sick if you get a flu shot, or why some people feel bad right after receiving their shot.
(The answer to the first area is that sometimes people may get something with flu-like symptoms that isn’t the flu, such as rhinovirus or other respiratory conditions, or you might have been exposed right around when you had the shot. The answer for the second is that sometimes mild reactions and tenderness can occur within 24-48 hours after receiving the shot.)
To further offer education and encourage more people to get flu shots, the CDC also offers a page describing who SHOULDN’T get a flu shot, which is a much smaller group, such as those under 6 months old or those with severe life-threatening allergies to this particular vaccine or any ingredients in it, such as eggs.
It also suggests that people with concerns should talk to their health care provider first, rather than researching flu vaccines online. This is a good way to get accurate information.
One of the benefits of being in the higher risk group is that people age 50 and older are often placed on priority lists if there is a shortage of vaccine.
Nurses need it too
An annual flu shot is pretty much a given for those in the medical industry. People who work at hospitals or doctor’s offices often come into regular contact with those with the flu, including some who may not know they have it.
Likewise, if an LVN, physician or member of the administrative staff has it, they could unwillingly spread it to patients.
Home health care nurses are encouraged to get their shot. They may visit a number of clients through the day or the week, and won’t want to pick up the flu from any of them or infect any of them.
Plus, there are the practical elements: an LVN with the flu will be required to miss work for a certain number of days, requiring other LVNs to fill in and assist their clients to make sure no one is missed.
One of the benefits of the flu vaccine is that it often makes symptoms not as strong when the flu is contracted, which means that someone with the flu some can return to work faster and they’ll also have stronger immunity from catching that particular strain again.
We hope that our encouragement of our nurses and our clients receiving the flu shot can be valuable for everyone.