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Health Care

By Alice Finch

November Free Flu Shot Clinics at the Health Department Caroline County Wednesday, Nov. 3rd and Nov. 10th 8:00 am -12:00 pm and 4:30 pm -7:00 pm 804-633-5465 King George County Tuesday Nov. 2nd and Nov. 9th : 8:00 a -12:00 pm and 4:30 pm -7:00 pm 540-775-3111 City of Fredericksburg Tuesdays and Fridays Nov. 3rd and Nov. 10th 8:00 am -12:00 pm and 5:00 pm -7:00 pm 540-899-4142 Spotsylvania County Every Friday 10am-12noon and Thursday Evenings 5pm-7pm Walk In Stafford County Every Friday 8am-12noon By Appointment OnlyImpact of Flu

  • Each year, approximately 200,000 hospitalizations related to influenza disease
  • Each year, approximately 36,000 influenza-associated deaths occur (90% are in those age 65 years and older)
  • Children have the highest rates of influenza infection, while the elderly have the highest rates of complications (pneumonia, death) from influenza
  • Risk of hospitalization is 4 times higher in pregnant women than non-pregnant women

School age children have the highest rates of influenza infection, therefore, they serve as a major source in spreading influenza to others in the community. For this reason, prevention of influenza infection in children by vaccinating them is a good way to prevent influenza in the community.

  • In a typical flu season, it is estimated that more than 40% of school age kids get the flu
  • In a 2009 Canadian study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, vaccinating school children resulted in a 60% reduction in influenza infection rates in adults.
The flu shot is effective in preventing influenza infection. The effectiveness is increased if there is a good "match" between influenza viruses present in the community and those in the vaccine.
  • In general, about 80% effective among healthy persons younger than 65 years old
  • In general, about 20-30% effective among frail elderly persons

As you can see, vaccinating the whole family against seasonal flu protects our most vulnerable: the very young, old, and those with low immunity. The flu vaccine does not give you the flu, but it does save lives.

For more information, go to http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/disease

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