Health News

Samish Public Health News Release

The 2014-2015 Seasonal Flu Vaccine:

It Works to Keep You and Those Around You Healthy! 

    Now that summer has come to a close and a new school year has begun, Samish Tribal Members are reminded that the 2014-2015 Flu Season is not far away!  And, the first and best way to protect yourself, your loved ones and your community from seasonal flu is by getting the flu vaccine.

The Flu is a serious highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory tract that can lead to infection and pneumonia especially in vulnerable people with weakened immune systems including pregnant women, babies and young children and Elders.  The CDC recommends everyone 6 months of age and older receive the flu vaccine.  Good health habits such as washing hands, covering coughs and staying home when sick are other important ways to prevent the flu.  Boosting the immune system by drinking plenty of fluids, getting extra sleep, exercising regularly and eating a healthy balanced nutritious diet are also important preventative measures.

This year’s flu vaccine provides protection against the same flu viruses as last year.  The traditional trivalent vaccine protects against two influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus.  In addition, the quadrivalent vaccine protects against four types of flu virus and is available as a shot or nasal spray.  This year, the CDC recommends use of the quadrivalent nasal spray vaccine for healthy children 2 to 8 years of age provided there are no contradictions to the vaccine.  There is a high dose vaccine for our Elders which quadruples protection.  There are egg protein-free vaccines for those with egg allergies.  For those who don’t like large needles, there is an intra-dermal vaccine delivered with a micro needle under the skin.  Should you have questions about the type of flu vaccine that is appropriate for you, your health care provider can help you decide upon the best course of action.

The body’s immunity to flu viruses often declines over time.  So, it is important to get the flu vaccine every flu season.  The flu vaccine is safe.  You can’t get the flu from the vaccine because the virus in the vaccine is either killed or weakened.

The cost of the flu vaccine is generally covered by Medicare and Medicaid as well as by many insurance providers and by Samish Contract Health.  If you are getting a flu vaccination at a pharmacy, you can use your Samish ID card with the NWPS sticker on the back.  However, if you are getting the flu vaccine directly from your health care provider or at a clinic, please contact Samish Contract Health Services in advance for payment approval.

The information in this report has been compiled from the CDC and various other relevant government agencies and is not a substitute for the advice of a qualified professional health-care provider.

To find a flu vaccine in your area: http://www.lung.org/lung-disease/influenza/flu-vaccine-finder/ or http://flushot.healthmap.org/?address

For Seasonal Flu information: www.flu.gov or http://www.cdc.gov/flu/index.htm

Keep Indian Country and your Community Healthy: Get the Flu Vaccine!

 

Mitch Markovich, RN

Samish Public Health Services

September 2014