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March 24th, 2017

Early Flu Vaccinations Protect All Vermonters

The final Colchester Farmers Market of the season this year included a booth staffed by Colchester Family Practice that offered flu vaccinations.

“We’re always looking for creative venues to offer flu vaccine, and the idea of protecting your health and the community at a farmers market seemed like a good fit,” said Alicia Jacobs, MD, of Colchester Family Practice.

Flu vaccine is regularly offered in doctors’ offices, clinics, retail stores, pharmacies, health centers and by employers. The flu season, which typically peaks in January or February, has started and cases have been laboratory confirmed. The time to get your flu shot is now.

One change this flu season is a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation for healthy children 2 years through 8 years of age to be vaccinated with nasal spray rather than a flu shot, when it is immediately available. If the nasal spray vaccine is not available and the flu shot is, vaccination should not be delayed and a flu shot should be given.

Besides getting the flu vaccine, take simple, every day actions to keep illness from spreading:

· Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve every time you sneeze or cough.

· Wash hands often and well with soap and water. Use a hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.

· Keep hands away from eyes, nose and mouth.

· Stay home from work, school or public places when you’re sick.

If you get a cold or the flu, antibiotics won’t help.

Flu symptoms typically include fever, headache, tiredness, dry cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, and body aches. If you get a cold or the flu, antibiotics won’t help. Taking them for a virus won’t make you feel better or get you back to school or work faster. Antiviral medications can lessen the symptoms and shorten the duration of the flu. Early treatment with antivirals is recommended for people at risk for serious illness from the flu. If you’re in a high risk group and have flu symptoms, contact your healthcare provider.

For more information about flu vaccination, prevention, and treatment and for downloadable posters, fact sheets, videos and other resources and multiple languages, visit the Health Department’s website at www.healthvermont.gov.

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