“I recommend the flu vaccination for everyone routinely. But if you know you will be regularly spending time this winter with infants, the elderly, or anyone who has a compromised immune system, you really need to get vaccinated,” says Joe Mattern, MD, FAAFP, the Chief Medical Officer for Jefferson Healthcare.
Every year, many people choose to not get the flu vaccine because they feel they are not at risk of serious illness from the flu. They view themselves as healthy and think a bout of the flu might mean just missing a few days of work. This may be true for some, however, what they don’t realize is that even with mild illness, they can still spread the flu to friends, family and loved ones – some who have health conditions that make them more likely to have complications. When a large portion of the community gets vaccinated, it creates “herd immunity” meaning there are fewer cases of influenza to infect others. This is important for people who may not be able to get the flu shot or have health conditions that affect their immune system, such as cancer. Another example is infants under 6 months of age are not able to get the flu shot so they rely on people around them to get it instead.
The evidence is clear that the flu shot prevents flu and flu complications including death. Protecting yourself also helps protect the people you care about.
Jefferson Healthcare Sheridan Primary Care Clinic is now offering drop-in flu vaccines for Jefferson County residents six months and older. New, updated drop-in clinic hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, 10am-3pm. Wednesday, 9am-4:30pm
The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated every year. Be prepared, everyone six months and older should receive a yearly flu vaccine according to the CDC. The vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations. Flu vaccines also have been shown to be life-saving in children.
Sheridan Primary Care Clinic, 915 Sheridan Street, Port Townsend. Appointments also available 360.379.8031.