Monday, November 14, 2011

Seasonal Influenza (Flu)

Nearly everyone 6 months of age and older should get a yearly flu vaccine. Ample supplies of influenza vaccine are now available. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to develop an immune response. Get vaccinated now so that you will be protected when flu season begins. In the United States, influenza season usually begins in October and can last until May. [From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)]

People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications
[From the CDC]

Who Should Not Be Vaccinated
There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first consulting a physician. These include:
  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
  • People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination.
  • People who developed Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine.
  • Children less than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group), and
  • People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated.)
[From the CDC: ]

Where can you get a flu shot?

Contact your primary care doctor's office or your local pharmacist to see if they offer flu shots.

Adult Immunization & Travel Clinic: AITC is a non-profit, fee-for-service clinic that is part of the San Francisco Department of Public Health. AITC is committed to providing convenient, knowledgeable, personalized, and cost-effective immunization services for travelers, students, new employees, immigrants, and other members of the community. Information is available at

Cold or Flu?
[From UCSF Medical Center Patient Education]

Treatment for the Flu
[From UCSF Medical Center Patient Education]

When to Call Your Doctor About the Flu
[From UCSF Medical Center Patient Education]