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CCAAA notes flu shot clinics
Saturday, October 6, 2012
To help older individuals avoid the flu, the Clearfield County Area Agency on Aging Inc.'s PrimeTime Health Program, in conjunction with Clearfield Hospital Home Health, is offering flu shot clinics for those older than 60.
While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it's especially important that certain people, especially older individuals, get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends an influenza vaccine every year as the first and best way to protect against getting the flu. By two weeks after vaccination, the body develops antibodies to protect against the viruses in the vaccine. Those antibodies help protect people from influenza viruses if they come in contact with them later.
The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
During a regular flu season, about 90 percent of deaths occur in people 65 and older. The "seasonal flu season" in the United States is usually from November through April each year.
The CDC recommends that people get their seasonal flu vaccine as soon as the vaccine becomes available in their community. Vaccination before December is best since this timing ensures that protective antibodies are in place before flu activity is typically at its highest. CDC continues to encourage people to get vaccinated throughout the flu season, which can begin as early as October and last as late as May.
The influenza vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older; people with underlying health conditions such as heart, respiratory, kidney, liver metabolic and immune system problems; people with weakened immune systems such as HIV/AIDS, long-term treatment of steroids, and cancer treatment with X-rays or drugs; residents of nursing homes and other chronic-care facilities; household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children younger than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated); physicians, nurses, family members, or anyone else in close contacts with any of these groups at risk for influenza; and anyone wishing to reduce the likelihood of becoming ill from influenza.
CCAAA flu shot clinics are scheduled at Clearfield Center for Active Living Oct. 17 from 1-3 p.m.; Houtzdale Family Service Center Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to noon; Mahaffey Center for Active Living Oct. 18 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.; Coalport Center for Active Living. 18 from 12:30-2 p.m.; Kylertown Center for Active Living Oct. 31 from 9:30-11:30 a.m.; Karthaus Center for Active Living Oct. 31 from 12:30-1:30 p.m.
Anyone wishing to also eat lunch at a Center for Active Living is asked to make reservations with the center by 9 a.m. the day before the clinic.
In addition to the vaccination, you can help fend off the flu by keeping your immune defenses strong. That means getting proper sleep, eating a healthy diet and engaging in regular exercise. Also, safety measures such as washing your hands frequently and keeping them away from your face and eyes will minimize the likelihood that the virus will be transmitted from your hands to your bloodstream.
If the flu bug does bite, stay home, stay in bed, rest and drink plenty of fluids. Throw used tissues in the trash immediately rather than allowing them to contaminate tabletops or other common areas.
For more information on flu shot clinics, call CCAAA at 765-2696 or 1-800-225-8571.
Programs and services of the agency are funded in part by the state Department of Aging, CCAAA, Mature Resources Foundation, and local and consumer contributions.
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