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It’s Up to You to Stop the Flu

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You wake up shivering yet somehow sweating at the same time, your nose stuffed to the point of headache, swallowing not an option with the razor blades that seem to line your throat. Influenza, more commonly known as the flu.  If only there was something you could do to prevent this.

The CDC reports between 9.2 million and 35.6 million people get the flu every year. Of that number up to 710,000 will be hospitalized and 56,000 will die.

A 6-foot radius is all that protects you from falling victim to the nasty flu.

“Flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze or talk. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs,” the CDC reports.

A person remains contagious one day prior to showing symptoms and up to seven days after becoming ill.

THE VACCINE

The influenza vaccine is the only proven method for flu prevention.

The CDC recommends that anyone six months of age or older receive the vaccine every year. Anyone ages six months to eight years should receive two flu vaccinations doses for proper flu protection.

If you or another household member have a child under the age of six months in your home, it is recommended that you receive the vaccine to better protect the child from possible infection.

Upon vaccination, the deactivated virus will allow the body to develop antibodies to protect you if you come into contact with the flu virus.

The trivalent (three-strain) vaccination available for the 2017-2018 flu season protects against the following stains:

  • an A/Michigan/45/2015 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus (updated)
  • an A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)-like virus
  • a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like (B/Victoria lineage) virus

The quadrivalent (four-strain) vaccine also contains the  B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (B/Yamagata lineage) strain in addition to aforementioned viruses.

Due to concerns about its effectiveness, the nasal vaccine is not approved for the 2017-2018 season.

via UHS Berkely

WHY IT MATTERS

Since the flu presents a greater risk for the extremely young and the extremely old, it is crucial that those who can receive the vaccine do.

Not only are you protecting yourself from potential hospitalization or even death, you are protecting your community, those unable to be vaccinated and those with weakened immune systems.

While it is possible for someone to still get sick despite receiving the vaccine, it is likely the illness would present in a more mild form.

The amount of vaccine prepared for a flu season is dependent upon historical data. Manufacturers of the vaccine typically only prepare enough for the population that received it the previous year. In years where particularly nasty strains are in circulation and many rush to receive the vaccine, often times there are shortages.

WHERE TO GET AN INFLUENZA VACCINATION

In Arapahoe County, you can receive an influenza vaccination at any of these locations. Many accept insurance which can provide the vaccine at lower to no cost.

via Health Line

Costco

  • $19.99 for quadrivalent
  • No Costco membership needed
  • Walk In

CVS 

  • $45 for quadrivalent
  • $5 off a $25 purchase.
  • Walk In

Walgreen’s

  • $31.99 for trivalent. $39.99 for quadrivalent
  • Appointment or Walk In

Rite Aid

  • $35 for trivalent. $40 for quadrivalent
  • Walk In
  • Earn 25+ “Wellness Points”

Walmart

  • Costs $27.88 for trivalent. $39.88 for quadrivalent
  • Walk In

Sam’s Club

  • No trivalent this year. $30 for quadrivalent
  • No Sam’s Club membership needed
  • Walk In

King Soopers

  • $30 for trivalent. $40 for quadrivalent
  • Walk in

Target

  • $39.99 for quadrivalent
  • Walk In
  • $5 Target gift card

Or use the vaccine finder

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The student news site of Arapahoe Community College in Littleton, Parker and Castle Rock
It’s Up to You to Stop the Flu