Thursday, October 13, 2022 Pueblo, CO – Public Health Officials in Pueblo stated the importance of getting an influenza (flu) vaccination to prevent the flu, as flu data collection began on October 2, 2022.
“It is important to get the flu vaccine each year—for yourself and for the people you love. It helps protect against influenza, a serious disease that can result in hospitalization and even death,” said Jody Carrillo, RN, BSN, MS, program manager at the Pueblo Department of Public Health and Environment.
Flu vaccine is available in Pueblo. Public Health encourages people to check with their healthcare provider or local pharmacy to get vaccinated. The flu and COVID vaccines may be received in different arms at the same time depending upon medical history of the individual.
“Everyone six months and older is encouraged to get their flu shot,” stated Carrillo. “The earlier you get the vaccine the better since it takes about two weeks after vaccination to build up protection. Even if you have been previously vaccinated for the flu, it is recommended to get vaccinated every year as flu strains change each year. The vaccines are updated each year to reflect the flu strains circulating during the current flu season,” Carrillo added.
You cannot get influenza from the vaccine. There is a chance you can get sick if you are near an ill person before or after receiving the vaccine while your body is building protection.
Common side effects from the flu shot include:
- Soreness, redness, tenderness, or swelling where the shot was given
- Low-grade fever
- Muscle aches
While these symptoms may be bothersome, they are mild compared to having the flu.
When you feel flu-like symptoms, contact your doctor. Flu symptoms may include:
- Sore Throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
- Muscle or body aches
- Fatigue (tiredness)
- Fever* or feeling feverish/chills (Not everyone with flu will have a fever.)
- Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.
Take three steps to prevent the flu:
1) Get your flu vaccine.
Visit your healthcare provider or pharmacy to get your flu vaccine. If you were vaccinated last flu season, you will need to be vaccinated again for this flu season.
2) Take everyday actions to stop the spread of germs.
Cough or sneeze into a tissue or a sleeve. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are unavailable, use al hand sanitizer containing 60% alcohol. In addition to washing hands, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will also reduce the spread of influenza; wear a face covering, physically distance, avoid crowds, increase ventilation indoors and wash your hands often.
3) Stay home if you are sick with flu symptoms.
Stay home (and keep children home) when sick. Stay home for at least 24 hours after fever ends without the help of fever-reducing medications. Call your health care provider within two days of on-set of symptoms to see if anti-viral drugs would be helpful. Follow the instructions for taking your medication as prescribed by your doctor.t.
For additional information about influenza prevention visit pueblohealth.org.