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Flu Prevention 101: Tips and Vaccinations at GLIDE

by Alyse Berry, RN, GHS Wellness Center Manager

Flu season is here and GLIDE Health Services (GHS) Wellness Center has been busy conducting flu clinics.  The first clinic was held on October 14th at GLIDE and focused on diabetics, asthmatics and GLIDE staff.  53 vaccinations were administered.  The largest clinic this year was held on November 9th in Freedom Hall where 79 people were vaccinated. So far, the Wellness Center and GHS have administered nearly 450 vaccinations to the GLIDE community this season.  Thanks to all the staff and volunteers for their hard work!

Who should be vaccinated?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, but it is especially important that the following groups get vaccinated:
•    Pregnant women
•    Children younger than 5, especially younger than 2 years old
•    People 50 years of age and older
•    People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions such as diabetes and asthma
•    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, and household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)

Who should not be vaccinated?
The CDC recommends that only a few groups not receive the flu vaccine:
•    People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs
•    People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination
•    People who developed Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccination
•    Children less than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group)
•    People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated)

What else can you do to prevent the spread of the flu?
Tips from the CDC to decrease your chances of getting and spreading the flu:
•    Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.  If there is no tissue available sneeze or cough into your elbow instead of your hands.
•    Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
•    Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
•    Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
•    If you are sick with flu–like illness, CDC recommends that you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
•    While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
For more information about this season’s flu, visit the CDC website
Check back again more information about the services provided by GLIDE’s Wellness Center.