According to recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data, Louisiana had already experienced a “high” outbreak of influenza (flu) prior to December. Ochsner Primary Care physician Michelle Becnel, MD, said that the number of flu cases is only expected to rise. “With so many people getting together for family gatherings, holiday parties, and shopping, the flu tends to spread much easier. Because of this, flu activity usually peaks between December and February.”
Certain people that may be at higher risk of getting or spreading the flu. Protecting the health and well-being of family, friends, and co-workers is a responsibility shared by everyone. The best way to receive this protection is to get the flu vaccine (shot) every year.
Who should get the flu shot?
-CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against this serious disease.
-If you are age 65 or older, make sure to request the high-dose vaccine which is specifically designed for seniors who often have weaker immune defenses.
-If you have an egg allergy, an egg-free flu vaccine is available, but this vaccine should be received in a medical setting and be supervised by a healthcare provider.
It takes up to 14 days after vaccination for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body. For this reason, a flu shot should be received no later than Dec. 10 to lessen risk in time for Christmas. Getting the shot later can still be beneficial and vaccination can occur throughout flu season, even into January or later.