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Why you should get a flu shot this year

Central Vermont Home Health & Hospice is hosting ten public flu clinics – starting Monday, September 26th from 2:00 pm to 3:00 pm at the Waterbury Senior Center – at convenient locations in and around central Vermont. Our Long-Term Care Registered Nurse and Public Clinic Coordinator Ashley Lafirira, RN, oversees public flu clinics at CVHHH and knows a thing or two about why it is important to get your flu vaccine this year.

Ashley Lafirira, RN, CVHHH’s Flu Vaccine Expert

According to Ashley, when you get the vaccine, you reduce the likelihood that you will get sick with the flu. You also lower the impact of respiratory illness on the broader community, which is important to prevent a surge on our local healthcare system and hospital as we continue to wrestle with the coronavirus pandemic.

We checked with Ashley for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions she gets from year to year about the flu vaccine.

When is flu season? Flu season usually starts in October and can extend to the following May. Typically, peak months are December through March.

When should I get the vaccine? According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), September and October are good times to get vaccinated. CVHHH’s flu clinics run during the CDC’s recommended time frame, from the end of September through early November, and are timed to provide optimal protection to individuals. That said, you can get your flu vaccine at any time during flu season.

I am healthy. Do I really need to get vaccinated? We follow guidance from the CDC and the Vermont Department of Health (VDOH), which recommend flu vaccines for anyone six months of age and older, individuals at high risk of complications from the flu, and caregivers of individuals at high risk. High risk individuals include pregnant and breastfeeding women, children, all adults 50 years of age and older, those with chronic illnesses, and people with compromised immune systems. Regardless of your health status, the vaccine is intended to protect you and those around you.

I heard that the flu vaccine does not really protect me against the flu. Is this true? Every year, the flu vaccine is updated to match three or four strains of the flu virus that research suggests will be the most common. While there is a chance you could be exposed to a strain not included in the vaccine, getting vaccinated is the recommended best protection.

Will a flu vaccine protect me against COVID-19? The flu vaccine will not protect you against the coronavirus, however, the flu vaccine has many other benefits, including reducing your risk of catching the flu or being hospitalized with the flu.

Please join us at one of our 10 public flu clinics. No reservations are required, and you must be 18 years or older to get vaccinated. All vaccines are administered by a registered nurse and given out on a first come, first served basis. We are here to help you fight the flu. Visit our events calendar for the full 2022 Public Flu Clinic Schedule. You may also call CVHHH’s flu hotline at 802-224-2299 for more information. Wishing you the best of health!

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