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Flu Season 2018-2019: Time for your immunization!

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  • Flu Season 2018-2019: Time for your immunization!

    Flu Season 2018-2019: Time for your immunization!

    It is the start of flu season in the northern hemisphere. Time to think about where YOU are going to be getting your seasonal flu shot (vaccine is available now and you should get your flu shot ASAP this year).

    Remember that pulmonary infections and respiratory failure remain the #1 cause of death long-term in SCI, and it is very easy for the flu to turn into pneumonia or ARDS for someone with a SCI. Every year, 40,000 people in the USA die from seasonal flu. While the flu shot is not a 100% guarantee you will not get the flu, if you do, and were immunized, it will be less severe.

    While flu activity usually peaks in January or February, the flu itself is unpredictable. And although there are many different flu viruses, the yearly flu vaccine protects against the three viruses that research suggests will be most common that flu season.

    Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year, especially if you are at high risk for complications or you live with or care for someone who is, including the following groups:

    • Pregnant women
    • Children younger than 5, but especially children younger than 2 years old
    • People 50 years of age and older
    • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions (including SCI and spinal cord diseases).
    • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
    • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
    • Health care workers
    • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
    • Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)


    When and how often should I get vaccinated? Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year by the end of October, if possible. However, getting vaccinated later is OK. Vaccination should continue throughout the flu season, even in January or later. Some children who have received flu vaccine previously and children who have only received one dose in their lifetime, may need two doses of flu vaccine. A health care provider can advise on how many doses a child should get.

    https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/...cid=rr6703a1_w

    (KLD)

    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

  • #2
    I personally just returned from a trip to South Africa, and found out I brought the flu home with me (Type A & B have been the most common in the Southern hemisphere this winter). I have been sicker than a dog the last 5 days, and am just now starting to feel a little better. Should have had my flu shot before I left on my trip in August, as the vaccine was available that early this year. I have isolated myself to not spread it to my friends, but sure wish I had gotten the vaccine as it can make a case less severe. Talking to my doctor today about possibility of antiviral medication at this point.

    Get your flu shot soon!

    (KLD)
    The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

    Comment


    • #3
      How long does the flu shot last? I've heard it's good not to get it too early.

      Comment


      • #4
        It is recommended to get it at the beginning of the season, esp. if you are at high risk. It can safely be repeated if you are concerned, in February or so.

        (KLD)
        The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by wheelman21 View Post
          How long does the flu shot last? I've heard it's good not to get it too early.
          Yes, this is my doctors counsel too. I asked in late August when NL and I should get our autumn flu shots i.e., when his office would have the current flu inoculation available. My doc doesn't like to give the vaccine too soon (especially if you got the vaccine last year) because the the flu season is so long, and the 2018-2019 vaccine is different from last years formula.

          That said, I am a huge advocate of getting a flu shot every year...but getting it too soon may not be the best practice.

          Sorry KLD got a bad case of the flu while she vacationed in South Africa, but what she picked up there may not have been the same virus we are inoculating against in this hemisphere now or what she was inoculated against last year.

          But all of that aside, hope I don't get flamed for my comments above...just get your flu shot this season, most doctors and clinics will have the current vaccine out now.

          See this Consumer Reports article: https://www.consumerreports.org/flu-...e-flu-vaccine/
          Last edited by gjnl; 09-18-2018, 12:42 AM.

          Comment


          • #6
            got ours beginning of september. my pharmacist said early september is perfect timing.
            Bike-on.com rep
            John@bike-on.com
            c4/5 inc funtioning c6. 28 yrs post.
            sponsored handcycle racer

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by fuentejps View Post
              got ours beginning of september. my pharmacist said early september is perfect timing.
              My doctor starts their vaccination program just days ago in mid September. Our appointment is Sept 26.

              Comment


              • #8
                I got the flu shot last Friday. There's a pneumonia vaccine, right? Should we be getting that too?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by wheelman21 View Post
                  I got the flu shot last Friday. There's a pneumonia vaccine, right? Should we be getting that too?
                  From the CDC, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/features/adult-p...cal/index.html

                  Two vaccines help prevent pneumococcal disease:
                  • PCV13 (pneumococcal conjugate vaccine)
                  • PPSV23 (pneumococcal polysaccharide vacc

                  PCV13 protects against 13 strains of pneumococcal bacteria and PPSV23 protects against 23 strains of pneumococcal bacteria. Both vaccines provide protection against illnesses like meningitis and bacteremia. PCV13 also provides protection against pneumonia.
                  Which Adults Should and Shouldn’t Get PCV13?

                  CDC recommends PCV13 for:
                  • All adults 65 years or older
                  • Adults 19 years or older with certain health conditions

                  Don’t get PCV13 if you have ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to:
                  • A dose of the vaccine
                  • An earlier pneumococcal vaccine called PCV7 (or Prevnar)
                  • Any vaccine containing diphtheria toxoid (for example, DTaP)

                  In addition, anyone with a severe allergy to any component of PCV13 should not get the vaccine.


                  Which Adults Should and Shouldn’t Get PPSV23?

                  CDC recommends PPSV23 for:
                  • All adults 65 years or older
                  • Adults 19 through 64 years old with certain health conditions or who smoke cigarettes

                  Don’t get PPSV23 if you:
                  • Ever had a life-threatening allergic reaction to a dose of PPSV23
                  • Have a severe allergy to any component of the vaccine

                  CDC recommends against getting PCV13 and PPSV23 at the same time. If you need both vaccines, get PCV13 first, followed by a dose of PPSV23 at another visit. Talk with your healthcare professional to find out when you should come back for the second vaccine.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Are there any ways to forestall yourself from diseases when you go abroad especially in Asian of African countries?

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                    • #11
                      This has nothing to do with flu immunizations.

                      The CDC has recommendations for immunizations when traveling outside the USA for diseases such as typhus, typhoid, yellow fever, etc. based on the specific country and area within the country you will be visiting. I also strongly recommend attending a travelers' clinic where they can determine your risk factors and prescribe any precautions, medications, or immunizations needed, based on where you will be visiting.

                      (KLD)
                      The SCI-Nurses are advanced practice nurses specializing in SCI/D care. They are available to answer questions, provide education, and make suggestions which you should always discuss with your physician/primary health care provider before implementing. Medical diagnosis is not provided, nor do the SCI-Nurses provide nursing or medical care through their responses on the CareCure forums.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by squid007 View Post
                        Are there any ways to forestall yourself from diseases when you go abroad especially in Asian of African countries?
                        Talk to your doctor or health department. while travel vaccines are not the topic of this thread it is easy to find out what is recommended for whatever country you plan to visit.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Very tough to avoid all diseases.... possibly look into that country's current issues, and if possible, any immunizations to protect against.

                          My first year getting the flu shot... glad I did. Actually got through the season with relatively little amounts of issues, especially compared to last year, which was a nightmare....

                          Much recommended.

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