This year if you want to get a H1N1 flu shot there should be no standing in line, no pandemonium, and no shortage. This year's flu shot protects against 3 strains, H1N1, Influenza A and B so you only need one shot, not two. But in order to get that protection, you need to get the shot.
Dr. Dave Kapaska is Avera McKennan's Chief Medical Officer and Interim Regional President. As a leader at the hospital and in the community he constantly strives to set a good example. That's why he's getting his annual flu shot on camera. One shot that protects against 3 strains of Influenza including H1N1.
Dr. Kapaska says, "33,000 people die every year from influenza. The older people and the younger people and the people with chronic diseases are most likely to be seriously afflicted the rest of us have the ability to get very sick ourselves and we could pass it on to the young and old in our lives so I think it's very important to protect ourselves and those around us."
Last year when the H1N1 scare circulated it prompted prompting a sense of panic worldwide. People were clamoring to get their hands on one of the H1N1 flu shots once they became available to the public which meant long lines and make-shift clinics. Avera Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Aris Assimacopoulos says people got so sick from H1N1 because there was no underlying immunity to that strain.
Dr. Assimacopoulos says, "What I tell people you shouldn't rely on last yeas flu shot to think you have protection this year. Cumulatively over time the more flu shots you get the more chance you'll have immunity of what's circulating that year."
Unfortunately, if you are allergic to eggs you can't get the shot or the mist.
Children under the age of 6 months can't get a flu shot. The flu mist is a live vaccine and available for people ages 2 to 49 and Dr. A says if you're pregnant you should get a flu shot. As for the timing, experts say now is as good as any.
Dr. A says, "It's good to get it when you can get it."
Dr. Kapaska says, "Where ever you get it, I just encourage you to get one and I can vouch that it doesn't hurt."
So listen to the good doctors! Get a flu shot to protect yourself, your family and everyone around you.
If employers are interested in holding a flu shot clinic at your worksite you can contact:
Avera HealthWorks at 605.322.5100.