Facts about Flu Vaccination! What Every Au Pair Should Know.

The information contained in this article was obtained from The Centers for Disease Control And Prevention. For more information, please go to https://www.cdc.gov/flu/

The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against influenza (flu) is to get a flu vaccine every flu season. Flu is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, or even death. CDC recommends everyone six months and older get an annual flu vaccine.

What are some key reasons to get a flu vaccine?

  • Flu vaccine has been shown to reduce flu illnesses, hospitalization, and even death in children.
  • During the 2016–2017 season, vaccination prevented an estimated 5.3 million illnesses, 2.6 million medical visits, and 85,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations.
  • Flu vaccination also is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions
  • Vaccinating pregnant women helps protect them from flu illness and hospitalization, and also has been shown to help protect the baby from flu infection for several months after birth, before the baby can be vaccinated.
  • A 2017 study showed that flu vaccine can be life-saving in children.
  • While some people who get vaccinated still get sick, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness.

Misconceptions about the Flu Vaccine:

Can a flu vaccine give you the flu?

No, flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines given with a needle (i.e., flu shots) are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ (killed) and that therefore are not infectious, or b) using only a single gene from a flu virus (as opposed to the full virus) in order to produce an immune response without causing infection.

Is it better to get the flu than the flu vaccine?

No. Flu can be a serious disease, particularly among young children, older adults, and people with certain chronic health conditions, such as asthma, heart disease or diabetes. Any flu infection can carry a risk of serious complications, hospitalization or death, even among otherwise healthy children and adults.  Most people suffering from flu illness miss 7 to 10 days of work and will spend $250.00 to 1000.00 dollars in health care costs (http://theweek.com/articles/471450/cost-getting-flu-by-numbers.) Therefore, getting vaccinated is a safer and less costly choice than risking illness to obtain immune protection.

Is the flu vaccine safe?                                               
Flu vaccines have a good safety record. Hundreds of millions of
Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years.
Extensive research supports the safety of seasonal flu vaccines.
Each year, CDC works with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
(FDA) and other partners to ensure the highest safety standards for
flu vaccines. More information about the safety of flu vaccines is
available at www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/vaccinesafety.htm.

What are the side effects of flu vaccines?
Flu shots: Flu shots are made using killed flu viruses (for inactivated
vaccines), or without flu virus at all (for the recombinant vaccine). So,
you cannot get flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that may
occur include soreness, redness and/or swelling where the shot was
given, low grade fever, and aches. If these problems occur, they are usually mild and go away on their own, but serious reactions are also possible. Almost all people who receive flu vaccine have no serious problems from it.
When and Where to get vaccinated?       
You should get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, as long
as flu viruses are circulating, vaccination should continue throughout
flu season, even in January or later.

Au pairs can get a flu vaccination at many locations( urgent care centers, Pharmacies, Doctor’s office, Public health centers.) Costco currently offering the flu vaccine for $19.00 in Atlanta Georgia.

The average cost is 20 to 40 dollars. Au Pair insurance will not cover the cost of a flu vaccination.

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