Community members encouraged to receive the flu vaccine
With the start of the flu season nearing, Tidelands Health is encouraging community residents, and particularly those at high risk of flu-related complications, to receive a flu vaccine.
With few exceptions, everyone 6 months of age and older should get a vaccine, said Shelly Rottner, a family nurse practitioner with Tidelands Health Family Medicine at Prince Creek. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to be effective.
“The annual vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from the flu,” Rottner said. “It’s important to remember that although most people recover from the flu in a matter of days, the virus can lead to serious, and sometimes fatal, complications, even among otherwise healthy people.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates the flu and flu-related complications were responsible for 80,000 deaths in the U.S. during the 2017-2018 flu season. That was the country’s highest flu-related death toll in decades.
Some people, including pregnant women, young children, individuals age 65 years and older and those with certain chronic medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes and heart disease) are at higher risk of developing flu-related complications, Rottner said. Individuals in these groups are a top priority to receive the vaccine.
“Take the virus seriously,” Rottner said. “Think of it as a way to help protect your loved ones. If you don’t get sick, then you’re not transmitting the virus to others.”
Rottner stressed the vaccine, which should be repeated annually to be effective each flu season, will not cause people to get the flu. The most common side effects from the influenza shot are soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot was given. Low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches also may occur.
Individuals with questions, or those interested in receiving a flu vaccine, are encouraged to contact their health care provider.
Employers interested in offering onsite flu vaccine clinics to their employees can contact Shannon King with Tidelands Health Business Health Solutions at 843-652-8196. Tidelands Health Business Health Solutions offers a full range of services to help improve the health, safety and productivity of employees across the Tidelands region.