Influenza, more commonly called the flu, is a highly contagious respiratory illness. Flu seasons can be unpredictable and severe. Hospitalizations and deaths related to flu occur every year in Snohomish County, yet less than half of all adults get vaccinated yearly as recommended.
Flu shots protect against the most common types of the seasonal flu virus and are recommended yearly for everyone age 6 months and older. Certain people are at greater risk for complications - seniors, pregnant women, young children, and people with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease.
Types of flu viruses vary by community and year, making it essential to get the new vaccine each year. It is best to get vaccinated by the end of October so the antibodies can develop before the flu season gets under way.
Healthcare and childcare workers should be vaccinated to protect themselves and their patients and clients.
Mild reactions, such as soreness at the injection site, headaches, and fever are common side effects of the flu vaccine.
Severe reactions, such as difficulty breathing, hives, or facial swelling, require medical attention immediately.
Flu Shot Costs
Most health insurances pay for an annual flu vaccine as a preventive measure. Healthcare providers may charge for an office visit, the vaccine and administrative fees. Children under age 19 can get vaccinated against the flu and other illnesses through the Childhood Vaccine Program which pays for the vaccine on behalf of children.