Get Ready for the Flu Season

The Food and Drug Administration has approved the seasonal influenza vaccines for 2019-2020. There are several flu vaccine options.  The traditional vaccine protects against three different flu viruses, called a trivalent vaccine. This vaccine protects against two influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus. Another vaccine, called a quadrivalent vaccine, protects against two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses.  The high-dose vaccine is approved for people age 65 and older.

The CDC recommends that all individuals age 6 months and older receive the flu vaccine every year. The best time to get vaccinated is before influenza starts to circulate in the community because it takes about two weeks after vaccination for your body to start to develop antibodies that protect against influenza.  Some people should not get the flu vaccine; so, if you’re not sure, consult your healthcare provider.

Area residents are advised to contact their doctor for the flu vaccine, the local Health Department, or to look for flu vaccine clinics in area pharmacies. Fulton County Health Center staff and volunteers are offered the flu vaccine every year to help protect them and the people they encounter every day.

Influenza is a virus that causes a respiratory illness.  The symptoms come on suddenly and include fever, body aches, extreme fatigue, sore throat, dry cough, runny or stuffy nose, and headache or eye pain.  It is spread by droplets when an infected person coughs and sneezes.  Some people may have a mild case but can easily spread the illness to others that may develop severe complications, which makes it so important to get the vaccine.  The influenza vaccine does not protect against the so-called “stomach flu” caused by other organisms and it does not protect against other respiratory illnesses such as the common cold.  It is only affective against influenza.

For more information about the flu or the flu vaccine, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention web site at