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Should you get a ‘flu shot’?

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According to Thailand statistics, a total of 30,024 people throughout the country have contracted Type A H1N1 influenza virus this year and 50 of them have died.

Those are big numbers, but did you know seasonal flu kills 36,000 people each year just in the US alone, and 200-300 people in Thailand?  Yes, right here!

So, what can you do about avoiding a full-blown influenza infection this year?  In one word – vaccinate!  My hospital has published some of the important facts about Flu vaccination.  While how well the flu vaccine works can vary, there are still many good reasons to get a flu vaccine each year.

Quite simply, flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick from flu.  Protecting yourself from flu can help protect people who are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from flu, like older adults, people with chronic health conditions and young children.

Flu vaccination may also make your illness milder if you do fall ill. A recent study showed that flu vaccine reduced young children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74 percent during flu seasons from 2010-2012.

One study showed that flu vaccination was associated with a 71 percent reduction in flu-related hospitalizations among adults of all ages and a 77 percent reduction among adults 50 years of age and older during the 2011-2012 flu season.

There are special vaccination instructions for children aged 6 months through to eight years of age as some children require two doses of influenza vaccine.  Children in this age group who are getting vaccinated for the first time, as well as some who have been vaccinated previously, will need two doses.  Your health care provider can tell you whether two doses are recommended for you.

Grit your teeth and get your ‘flu shot!


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