Getting Ready for Flu Season: Should I Get Vaccinated?
If you’re like many people, your “to do” list is growing longer and longer now that the warm months are behind us. Maybe your list involves packing away the beach supplies, pulling out your warmer clothes, or doing yard work to prepare for that dreaded white stuff. Does your list of to dos also include getting a flu shot?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older be vaccinated 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 you 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 the flu season.
What you can do
In addition to getting your flu shot, remember to practice good hygiene as another safeguard against flu season.
- 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? Tell us about your experience.