Influenza is a contagious respiratory virus that can cause mild to severe illness. More than 200,000 individuals are hospitalized each year from flu-related complications, and approximately 36,000 deaths each year in the United States are from flu-related causes. The elderly, young children, and people with certain health conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease) are at high risk for serious flu complications. Complications from influenza include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration, and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes. The strains of influenza virus that cause disease in people frequently change, so yearly vaccination is needed to provide protection against the influenza viruses likely to be in circulation each winter. The 2010-11 vaccine contains the H1N1 virus from last year. This is a killed (inactivated) virus vaccine, so you can’t get influenza from this vaccine. Over the last decade the recommendations for who should get the flu vaccine have been expanding, to the point that starting in 2010-11 it is recommended for all ages.
We’re happy to be able to offer this inexpensive, but highly important vaccine to our patients at Windom Asthma Allergy & Sinus Disease. Get it when you’re here for an appointment or just drop in and ask for it. Our charge is $30 and if your insurance covers it we’ll submit your claim for you.