Understanding Flu Shots and Flu Vaccinations

The importance of being inoculated against strains of the flu virus cannot be overstated.  For that reason, here at the offices of Dr. Sisselman, we make every effort to advise our patients of the importance and the possible detrimental effects of the flu and how to protect themselves against the flu virus.

Caused by flu viruses, influenza is a contagious respiratory illness.  The effects vary and may be mild to severe and, in certain instances, can cause death.  Cough, fever, congestion, muscle aches; along with headache and fatigue are some of the most common symptoms.  The most vulnerable population are at a greater risk to develop serious complications if they contact the flu but, even the healthiest of individuals get the flu.  The elderly, infirm, children and pregnant women are more highly susceptible to major issues arising form the flu.

Because of the unpredictability and possible severity of the virus during any particular season, it is imperative for patients to be as prepared as they possibly can be to help prevent the flu and, therefore, that is why we at the offices of Dr. Sisselman cannot stress enough the course of action in order to prevent the flu with an annual flu shot.  Such measures taken can help to alleviate or lessen the effects of the virus.

Flu vaccines help develop antibodies after approximately two weeks.  From these antibodies, protection is provided against infection with viruses that are contained in the vaccine.  There are different types of vaccines depending upon the recommendation of our doctors and the individual needs of the patient which will be further discussed during your inoculation appointment.  Furthermore, as an alternative to a flu shot, a nasal spray is available for those who, for various reasons do not want or cannot have the shot administered.

The best defense against the flu is obtaining a yearly flu shot or nasal spray flu vaccine.  Some people question the necessity of a yearly flu shot .  The reasoning for getting the yearly vaccination is two-fold: since the body’s immune response from the inoculation declines over time, an annual vaccine is required for optimal protection and, since viruses are ever-changing, the vaccine formula is reviewed and, at times, up-dated in order to keep current with changes in the strains of the viruses.  Because of these changes, everyone six months and older should be vaccinated yearly.

Since no vaccine is 100% effective, it is imperative to take steps to significantly reduce spreading infection.  If you are sick; stay home.  Wash hands frequently, contain coughs and sneezes and try to avoid crowds where infections are spread to reduce chances of infection.  Also, as always, practice habits of good health on a daily basis.

Our ultimate goal of Dr. Sisselman and associates is to strive to continually assist  our patients to avoid illness and to make every possible effort to preserve and maintain your health.  To schedule your appointment at one of our convenient Long Island locations, contact us today!