According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were “epidemic levels” of influenza or pneumonia for 16 consecutive weeks during last year’s flu season. The CDC estimates that more than 700,000 people were hospitalized with the flu during the 2017 - 2018 season, and reported that more than 80,000 people died of flu and its complications—the disease’s highest death toll in at least four decades.
CDC officials recommend people should begin getting vaccinated soon after the flu vaccine becomes available, if possible by October, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating in the community, it’s never too late to get vaccinated.
You may not realize how big of an impact you can have just by getting a flu shot. Getting vaccinated is not just about you. It’s about protecting the ones you love and it’s also about the hundreds of people you come in contact with on a regular basis as well. The more protected you are against the flu, the more protected the public will be as well. The more people who get a flu shot, the better chance everyone in our area has of not getting sick this year.
While it is suggested that everyone should get a flu shot, certain people are highly encouraged:
- Anyone suffering from chronic lung or heart disease
- Children under 5 and those between the ages of 6 months and 2 years old
- Healthcare workers
- Household contacts and caregivers of children under the age of 6 months, including breastfeeding women
- People who live in extended-care facilities or nursing homes
- Pregnant women or those who may become pregnant during flu season
With the flu season quickly approaching, now is the time to take precautions to protect yourself and the ones you love—especially children and the elderly. The flu vaccine will continue to serve as the best, first-line of defense for Idahoans. By getting a simple flu shot, you will have some level of cross-protection from various strains, which will help to reduce the severity and duration of most flu infections.
In addition to getting a seasonal flu vaccine if you have not already gotten vaccinated, you can take everyday preventive actions like washing your hands to reduce the spread of germs. If you are sick with flu, stay home from work or school to prevent spreading flu to others.
In addition to getting a flu shot, did you know that older adults are at greatest risk of serious illness and death from pneumonia? Southeast Idaho has some of the highest hospitalizations in Idaho due to pneumonia and we also have some of the lowest vaccination rates. With your help we can change this! Two kinds of vaccines help prevent pneumococcal disease. We are asking you to join us in the fight against pneumonia starting today! The CDC recommends vaccination for adults 65 and older to help prevent pneumococcal pneumonia. Talk to your primary care doctor to get your recommended vaccines and reduce your risk!
Flu Shots are Now Available!
All Bingham Memorial’s physician offices have received flu shots. They are covered with most insurance plans or available for $20.00 without insurance. For more information and flu shot locations, please call (208) 785-4100 or click here.
Our content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.