2015 Flu Vaccine “Cattle Call”

BEVO says, “Healthy Horns get Flu Shots!”

Attention Longhorns, Aggies, and everyone else, flu season is upon us, so it’s time for your annual flu vaccine. UT students – we have completed our large flu vaccine clinics, but now you may schedule an appointment at UHS to receive your shot.

Who should get the flu vaccine?

The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC) continues to recommend annual flu vaccines for everyone over the age of six months.

What is different this year?

Last year, the vaccine was not a great match for the strain that ended up dominating the scene (H3N2). This year’s vaccine includes two type A strains, both last year’s H3N2 and the H1N1 that was so intense from 2009, as well as two less well- known type B strains.

But I hate needles…no problem, ask for the vaccine that is delivered via a nasal spray! The only caveat here is that this is a live vaccine, so there are some restrictions: you must be age 2-49 years, not pregnant, have no major problems with immunity (such as having AIDS or cancer), not take aspirin daily, and not have asthma.

New this year: “Jet-Injectors” which use a “high-pressure, narrow stream of fluid” to directly penetrate the skin- no needle involved at all! The only vaccine to be delivered this way for 2015-2016 will include three (rather than four) strains of flu, the type A strains H3N3 and H1N1, along with one B strain, and recipients must be ages 18-64 years old.

What is FLU? Influenza is not a simple cold, nor is it a twenty four hour stomach virus. The flu causes fever, chills, cough, runny/stuffy nose, muscle aches, headaches, fatigue, and sometimes involves vomiting and diarrhea (more often in kids). Colds and allergies tend to bother you from the neck up- stuffy, sore throat, headache- but don’t knock you down for the count, and coughs are generally less bothersome.

How is the FLU spread? This virus is spread from infected people when the cough, sneeze or talk, via tiny respiratory droplets, and the scary part is that you are contagious a full day BEFORE you develop symptoms (as well as for about a week after you feel sick.)

How can you prevent the FLU? Wash hands FREQUENTLY and get vaccinated. Get vaccinated. Get vaccinated!

Who should NOT get vaccinated? Those with bad reactions to vaccine in the past; infants younger than 6 months; and those people with a history of an uncommon disease called Guillain-Barre. If you are sick with a fever, wait till this illness is over before getting the vaccine.

BOTTOM LINE: Grab a friend, family member or co-worker and make time to get your FLU VACCINE!

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