No more excuses: You need a flu vaccine

Susan Young - Contributing Columnist

Even healthy people need a flu vaccine.

Influenza (flu) is a contagious disease which can lead to serious illness, including pneumonia. Even healthy people can get sick enough to miss work or school for a significant amount of time or even be hospitalized. An annual flu vaccine is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older. Pregnant women, young children, older people, and people with certain chronic medical conditions like asthma, diabetes and heart disease are at increased risk of serious flu-rated complications, so getting a yearly flu vaccine is especially important for them.

Is the flu vaccine safe?

Yes. The flu vaccine is safe. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years, and there has been extensive research supporting the safety of seasonal flu vaccines. Each year, CDC works closely with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and other partners to ensure the highest safety standards for flu vaccine.

The most common side effects of flu vaccine are mild.

The flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness; however, it can cause mild side effects that may be mistaken for the flu. Common side effects from the flu shot include soreness, redness, and/or swelling from the shot, headache, fever, muscle aches, and nausea. These side effects are not the flu. If experienced at all, these effects are usually mild and last only one to two days.

Can’t I wait and get vaccinated when/if flu hits my community?

It is best to get vaccinated before flu begins to spread. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu, so the sooner you get vaccinated, the more likely it is that you will be protected once flu begins to circulate in your community.

You need to get a flu vaccine every year.

There are two reasons for getting a flu vaccine every year:

Flu viruses are constantly changing and so flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next. You need the current season’s vaccine for the best protection. This year’s vaccine is formulated to be a good match to the circulating viruses.

A person’s immune protection from the vaccine declines over time. Annual vaccination is needed for the best protection.

Madison County Public Health offers flu and pneumonia vaccine with over 123 years of vaccinating experience. We offer this everyday with no appointment or wait.

We accept most commercial insurances. Although no one is turned away from Madison County Public Health due to inability to pay. We can be reached at 740-852-3065 if you have any questions.

Susan Young

Contributing Columnist

Susan Young is the director or nursing at Madison County Public Health. She can be reached by email at or call 740-852-3065, ext. 1526.

Susan Young is the director or nursing at Madison County Public Health. She can be reached by email at or call 740-852-3065, ext. 1526.