A Challenging Flu Season Ahead
It’s that time of year again – sweater weather with hot cider and pumpkin spiced lattes. With the cold comes the viruses, and this year experts expect a more challenging season for the flu with higher rates of illness. It’s time to start asking our health care teams about the seasonal flu vaccine. Also, while COVID has become our new normal, it’s still important to keep those boosters in mind.
To avoid having to deal with an illness you could potentially prevent, you should seriously consider a flu vaccine. After all, none of us want to spend any part of winter, especially the holidays, in bed with the flu. Our doctors still say that influenza vaccination is the single best intervention you can do to prevent influenza and the complications that can come with it.
Check with your local doctor on possible locations to get the vaccine, or check out your local health department web page for locations near you. Some locations may even offer both the flu vaccine and the COVID booster at the same time. Information on vaccines at Mayo Clinic can be found here.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older be vaccinated (with an age-appropriate vaccine) annually against influenza. Mayo Clinic recommends annual influenza vaccination to all transplant candidates, transplant recipients, their caregivers and other close contacts. As a transplant patient, you should not receive the FluMist, nor should any of your caregivers or close contacts. The FluMist is a live virus vaccine and could cause people with weakened immune systems to become ill. Although not 100% effective, getting a flu shot is worth the needle stick. Flu shots are the most effective way to prevent influenza and its complications.
If you are a transplant patient at another facility, contact your care team to ask about their recommendations for this flu season.
What you can do to stay healthy?
Over the last two years, we have all been saturated with messages about how to stay healthy and virus free, so we are sure you already know. But, of course, it’s our job to remind you!
- Wash your hands often and thoroughly with soap and water
- Use an alcohol-based sanitizer on your hands if soap and water aren't available
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth whenever possible
- Avoid crowds when the flu is most prevalent in your area
- Get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, drink plenty of fluids, eat a nutritious diet, and manage your stress
Do you get your flu shot every year? Make it part of your fall routine! Tell us about how you stay healthy.
- Learn more about the flu vaccine and flu season
- Explore Mayo's Transplant Center
- Request an appointment