Do You Need the Flu Shot?

‘Tis the Season…

…to catch the flu. We are well into this year’s flu season which typically runs from October to May. The Centers for Disease Control reports that flu activity seems to be hitting earlier and harder this year, and the Alabama Department of Public Health confirms this concern for our region.

At Sparks & Favor, we currently have a supply of the 2012-2013 flu vaccine. If you have not yet received the vaccine, call our office and arrange to stop by for your immunization. It’s quick and easy! But do call first, (877-5444) so your physician’s nurse can have your chart available and confirm that you have no contra-indication to receiving a flu shot.

WHO SHOULD RECEIVE THE FLU VACCINE? The answer is nearly all of our patients, including women who are pregnant! With few exceptions, all persons over 6 months old should receive the flu shot. If you believe you have a reason to avoid being vaccinated, (examples: you have had a severe allergic reaction to a previous flu shot, you now are ill with a fever), discuss this with your doctor or one of our nurses. Your Ob-Gyn is committed to women’s preventive health.

FOR OUR PREGNANT PATIENTS: it is especially important for pregnant women to be protected against the flu. Pregnant women are at higher risk for serious complications from the flu. When the vaccine is given during pregnancy, it also provides protection for your baby who cannot receive the vaccine directly until he or she is 6 months old. Women who are breastfeeding may also be vaccinated. Pregnant women should not receive the live-attenuated vaccine (the nasal spray vaccine).

Read more in the December 4, 2012 article from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Pregnant? Your Flu Vaccine is Due Date is Now,” and watch a short video clip about the vaccine’s benefits for Mom and Baby.