Protect Yourself: Flu Season is Around the Corner

high-dose flu vaccine

Are you in your 20s or 30s and think you're immune to the flu? Think again. Everyone is at risk in a regional flu season that is more intense and has arrived sooner than expected.

Protect yourself, your family and the community by getting a flu shot this year. Renown Health will be offering flu and pneumonia vaccines to the public through early December. Check out our seasonal flu shot schedule to find a time and location that’s convenient for you, and read more to learn about changes to the flu shot recommendations for the 2016-17 flu season.

With flu season approaching fast, it is never too early to begin thinking about getting a flu shot. Renown has 28 events scheduled through early December to help make it even easier to get vaccinated. 

But just who should get the flu shot? Almost everyone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza.

What’s new this flu season?

According to the CDC, a few things are new this season:

  • Only injectable flu shots — not the nasal spray — are recommended for use this season as the most effective defense, even for children.
  • Flu vaccines have been updated to better match circulating viruses.
  • There will be some new vaccines on the market this season.
  • The vaccination recommendations for people with egg allergies have changed.

Is it the flu or a cold?

The flu and the common cold have similar symptoms. It can be difficult to tell the difference between the two. Your healthcare provider can give you a test within the first few days of your illness to determine whether or not you have the flu.

In general, the flu is worse than the common cold. Symptoms such as fever, body aches, fatigue and cough are more common and intense with the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose.

Flu symptoms include:

  • A 100 degree or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
  • A cough and/or sore throat
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)

Should I seek emergency medical attention?

Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Purple or blue discoloration of the lips
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with a ever and worse cough

Bottom line: Your best chance of avoiding the flu this season is to get your flu vaccine. And experts advise: the earlier, the better.

For questions about flu vaccination, contact your primary care physician or visit an upcoming Renown community flu shot event.