Fighting the Flu: It's Never Too Late to Vaccinate
Cold and flu season is back and the flu vaccine is your best defense. According to Dr. Matthew Bartels, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield's associate medical director, it is best to get a flu shot early in the season, however, it is never too late for you or your employees to immunize against influenza. As Dr. Bartels explains, “Even if the vaccine strains are not identical to the flu strains circulating in the community, the vaccine can lessen the severity of the disease."
The groups of people at greater risk of serious complications if they get the flu are:
- People 65 years and older
- Children younger than 5 years
- People with chronic conditions
Generally, children younger than six months and people who are sick with a fever should not have a flu shot. People with a history of any type of egg allergy should check with their healthcare provider to make certain they can be vaccinated. For more information about the nuances of vaccine types and whether or not to vaccinate, review the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines.
There are simple ways to protect yourself and your employees from the flu:
- Always wash your hands with soap and water
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- Try to avoid close contact with sick people
- Clean shared items including doorknobs, phones and keyboards to help remove germs
Always check with your doctor first if you have questions.
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