Pregnant women are urged to get free flu jab

Judith QuinnNov 30, 2016

"We are encouraging people who have not yet been vaccinated this season to get vaccinated now".

The government has purchased about 6 million NHI-covered flu vaccines - almost double last year's quantity. This alone reveals that there is no correlation between flu or flu vaccines and autism.

"It's important [to be vaccinated] because it will reduce sickness, it will reduce time missed from school, time missed for work, and it will also reduce hospitalizations and doctors visits", Kelly told the council members. "It isn't too late to get your free jab from your GP or local pharmacist and people really need to come forward now to make sure they can enjoy a happy, healthy Christmas and New Year". It recommends the yearly vaccine, which takes up to a month to take hold, for everyone 6 months and older. The theory of flu-causes-autism has been around since 1998 when a British doctor, Andrew Wakefield presented a study indicating that the MMR vaccine causes autism.

Q: Students are the largest population on campus, but many don't get vaccinated.

"If you think you have the flu and you are at high risk of severe flu, seek early care from your health care provider", the department said.

Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious complications from seasonal flu.

Options for vaccination this year include a quadrivalent vaccine, which offers protection from four strains of flu instead of the traditional three strain vaccine, and a vaccine that is injected under the skin and not into the muscle. It also protects the baby against flu in the first few months of life. Although there was no direct link found in mothers who had the flu while pregnant and their child being diagnosed with autism, there was a slight increased risk for mothers who received a flu vaccine during their first trimester.

National Influenza Vaccination Week emphasizes the importance of receiving an annual flu vaccination. Getting a safe, free flu shot is the best way to prevent the illness. Primary care clinics in the area as well as many pharmacies have the flu vaccine available for all adults and children. CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV), also known as the "nasal spray" flu vaccine, should not be used during the 2016-2017 flu season.

Myth: I got the flu shot past year, so I don't need it again.

"But this is a different situation, where you're around 25,000 other students, many of whom are sick", Orsborn said.

The vaccination costs vary depending on location, but it is usually covered by most health insurance, including Medicare and Medicaid.

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