The leaves may not have changed colors yet, but a new season is quickly approaching. October is the beginning of influenza season. You can protect yourself from the seasonal virus by getting vaccinated.
Below are some things to keep in mind when getting the vaccine.
Who should get a flu vaccine?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends vaccines for every one older than six months. The flu virus changes every year, which is why the CDC recommends getting immunized before each flu season.
Who is most at risk of getting the flu?
Children under 5 years old, individuals older than 65, pregnant women and people staying in long-term care facilities or nursing homes are most at risk. Individuals with certain medical conditions, such as asthma, heart disease or a weakened immune system, are also at a higher risk of getting the flu.
When should you get the vaccine?
The CDC recommends getting the vaccine as soon as it is available, typically in October. The flu season can last until May. Full protection from the flu virus occurs two weeks after vaccination.
Where can you get the vaccine?
Flu shots are available at most local pharmacies, your primary care doctor’s office or Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare, 400 W. River Woods Parkway (888-994-3286).
Homeless individuals can be vaccinated at Repairers of the Breach, 1335 W. Vliet St. (414-342-1065) or St. Ben’s Clinic, 1027 N. 9th St. (414-765-0606). In all cases, call ahead before going to get a shot.