Saturday, September 30, 2023

Advocate Health Care Flu Shots

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Understanding Who Is At Risk

What You Need to Know About the Flu Vaccine

Heres an overview of the factors that raise the risk of serious illness with the flu:

Adults 65 years of age and older: Older adults, especially those living in nursing homes and long-term care facilities, have a high risk of serious flu complications. Immune responses generally decrease with age. During past flu seasons, an estimated 70% to 85% of deaths and 50% to 70% of hospitalizations due to seasonal flu have occurred in this age group.

Young children: Flu is more dangerous for children than the common cold. Children under 5 years of age, especially those under the age of 2, have a higher risk of developing pneumonia, dehydration and brain problems after catching the flu.

Pregnant women: Changes in the immune system, heart and lungs that occur during pregnancy raise the risk of severe flu complications. Flu symptoms may also harm a developing baby. For example, fever is a common flu symptom that can cause neural tube defects and other problems as the baby grows. When a pregnant woman has a flu shot, she can pass antibodies to her baby, which helps protect the infant after birth.

Heart disease and stroke: Studies have found that heart disease is one of the most common conditions among adults hospitalized for the flu. Flu has also been associated with an increase in heart attacks and strokes.

Flu Shots Are Needed More Than Ever With Covid

Each year, flu vaccination plays a major role in protecting individual and community health. Now, with the presence of COVID-19, getting vaccinated for the flu is more important than ever before. While there are now several vaccines for COVID-19, it is crucial to protect your overall health as a preventative measure. Heres what you need to know about flu vaccination.

What is the flu?

The flu is an infection that can be caused by several strains of the influenza virus. The influenza virus infects the upper respiratory tract, causing symptoms like coughing, runny nose, fever, headache, and a sore throat.

How serious is the flu?

The flu varies in severity every year, but for most people, the symptoms are fairly mild. However, the CDC notes that the flu affects millions of people every year, resulting in hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations and tens of thousands of deaths. Children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are most at risk.

The presence of COVID-19 could make getting the flu more dangerous, due to possible interactions between the two illnesses.

Can the flu make COVID-19 worse?

When your immune system is fighting an infection like the flu, it may be more vulnerable to other illnesses like COVID-19. Dr. Stephen Epner at Physicians Immediate Care says, It may be possible that people could be infected with both this year, either at the same time or separately. We dont know if getting the flu might make the illness caused by COVID-19 worse.

Schedule Your Flu Shot Appointment

You dont have to be an Advocate patient or have an established Advocate primary care provider to get a flu vaccine with us. We provide several ways for you to get vaccinated:

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The Flu Vaccine Is Safe And Effective

The flu shot is the single most important thing you can do to prevent getting influenza. It lowers your chances of catching the virus and reduces your odds of having severe symptoms if you do come down with it.

The flu vaccine is safe and effective. Research reviewed by the CDC shows that the flu shot prevents the following outcomes in the United States every year:

  • 1.6 to 6.7 million illnesses

  • 790,000 to 3.1 million outpatient medical visits

  • 39,000 to 87,000 hospitalizations

  • 3,000 to 10,000 deaths

There are many different influenza viruses, and they are always changing. The CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices reviews research every year to determine the three or four flu viruses that are expected to be the most common in the next flu season. Vaccine manufacturers update the flu shot ingredients accordingly to provide you with the best possible protection against the expected flu strains.

Flu vaccines in the United States typically protect against four different flu viruses: two influenza A viruses and two influenza B viruses. Some vaccines protect against three different flu viruses: two influenza A viruses and one influenza B virus.

The flu shot reduces the risk of flu by 40% to 60% during flu seasons when it is well matched to the predicted viruses that circulate. Thats a substantial risk reduction thats well worth your time.

Can You Get A Free Flu Shot

Flu Shot

Your health insurance plan may be a determining factor in where you get your flu shot. Under the Affordable Care Act, health insurers are required to cover flu and other vaccines without charging a copayment or coinsurance, according to the HHS.

But be sure to check with your insurance company to find out if you must go to a specific facility to receive the vaccine. Some insurance plans only cover vaccines given by your doctor or at a limited set of locations, writes the HHS.

Many health insurance companies provide free-of-cost coverage of flu vaccines, since when they protect, they save very high costs of hospitalization, says Dr. Bloom. Thats a good deal for everyone.

If you must pay out of pocket, shots can range in cost from $19.99 at Costco to $40 at Walgreens.

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What Types Of Flu Vaccines Are Available

At Aurora, we offer two options: the traditional flu shot injection and Flublok®.

Flublok® is a flu vaccine that’s completely free of common allergens like eggs and latex. Flublok® is FDA-approved for adults 18 and older. If you’re concerned about allergies, or if youre vegan, talk to your primary care doctor about using Flublok® as your flu vaccine.

Talking To Friends And Family About Flu Shots

Need some tips for talking about the importance of flu vaccine? CDC is a great source of information about the serious risk of flu illness and the benefits of flu vaccination, as well as information to correct myths about the flu vaccine. Below are several examples of the benefits of flu shots and corrections of common flu myths. Find out more about the benefits of getting your annual flu vaccine on CDCs Vaccine Benefits webpage, here.

  • Flu can be a serious illness, even for otherwise healthy children and adults. While most people will recover from flu without complications, anyone can experience severe illness, hospitalization, or death. Therefore, getting vaccinated is a safer choice than risking serious illness for yourself or those around you.
  • The flu vaccine CANNOT give you the flu. Flu shots do NOT contain flu viruses that could infect you and cause flu illness. Flu shots either contain flu vaccines viruses that have been inactivated and therefore are not infectious, or they do not contain any flu vaccine viruses at all .
  • Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu. Flu vaccines can reduce your risk of illness, hospitalization.
  • Getting vaccinated yourself may also help protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.

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The Mandate Includes Locations In Frankfort And Mokena

FRANKFORT, IL Advocate Health Care is joining health care providers and organizations across the country by requiring all 75,000 team members in Illinois and Wisconsin to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by Oct. 15. Failure to become fully vaccinated without an approved exemption by the deadline will follow the same process as flu vaccine non-compliance and will result in termination.

A decision that underlines safety as the systems top priority, the mandate applies to Advocate medical centers, hospitals and outpatient clinics in Frankfort and Mokena.

We are first and foremost a safe, clinical enterprise. Our ultimate duty is to protect the health and safety of our team members, patients and communities, President and CEO Jim Skogsbergh told team members Wednesday in a video. The data is overwhelming. This vaccine is safe, and its highly effective in preventing infection and, even more so, serious illness and death.

Convenient Comprehensive Adult Vaccinations At Advocate

Veteran Community Care Flu Shots #1 (2021-2022)

Our primary care providers offer all recommended vaccines for adults, based on the guidelines developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . We make it easy to get the right vaccines at the right time to keep you healthy. We offer:

  • Easy appointment scheduling: At locations across Chicagoland, we can usually get you in quickly for a vaccination sometimes the same day. You can schedule a vaccine appointment:
  • Skilled vaccination team: You receive vaccinations from an experienced team with training in administering vaccines. Our nurses and medical assistants help make your experience smooth and easy.
  • Affordable options: Health insurance often covers the cost of preventive care, including vaccines. Check with your insurance company to see if you have any out-of-pocket costs. Find out which insurance plans we accept.
  • Vaccine reminders and history: The LiveWell app provides reminders when you are due for a vaccine. You can also access your health record to keep track of vaccines you receive from any Advocate provider.

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Demand May Be High But Supplies Are On Hand

No shortages or delays in flu vaccine shipments are expected for the 20212022 flu season. But the CDC cautions that in some places, robust demand for vaccine and supplies required to support flu vaccination efforts, like needles or syringes, may mean that some providers run out of vaccine or other supplies before their next shipment has arrived.

With this possibility in mind, the public is advised to double check with their site of choice to make sure product is in stock.

Last year, we administered double the number of flu shots we had the previous year, says CVSs Massee. This year, we expect a similar volume of flu vaccinations throughout flu season and have taken proactive measures to secure access to flu shots for patients. We have ample supply of vaccine on hand and do not anticipate widespread shortages for the months when demand for the flu shot is at its peak.

Get A Flu Shot To Protect Your High

Getting a flu shot is the single most important thing you can do to avoid the flu and minimize your symptoms if you happen to catch it. But its also an effective way to reduce the spread of the virus and help protect your loved ones, friends, coworkers and neighbors who have a higher risk of getting seriously ill.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get an annual flu shot. The flu vaccine is to protect against specific strains of influenza that are the most likely to circulate in the upcoming flu season.

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Making A Flu Vaccine Recommendation To Your Patients

For health care providers, CDC suggests using the SHARE method to make a strong vaccine recommendation and to provide important information to help patients make informed decisions about vaccinations. Remind patients that it is not too late for them to get vaccinated, and follow the SHARE strategies below:

  • S- why the influenza vaccine is right for the patient given his or her age, health status, lifestyle, occupation, or other risk factors.
  • H- HIGHLIGHTpositive experiences with influenza vaccines , as appropriate, to reinforce the benefits and strengthen confidence in flu vaccination.
  • A- ADDRESS patient questions and any concerns about the influenza vaccine, including side effects, safety, and vaccine effectiveness in plain and understandable language.
  • R- REMIND patients that influenza vaccines protect them and their loves ones from serious flu illness and flu-related complications.
  • E- EXPLAIN the potential costs of getting the flu, including serious health effects, time lost , and financial costs.

Be an advocate for flu vaccination. Get your flu vaccine and remind those around you to do the same! Visit for more information and tips on flu vaccination and prevention.

Interested in learning more about flu? Check out other CDC Flu Blog-a-thon post throughout the week for personal stories, advice, and tips on flu and flu prevention. You can see all the participating blogs here: .

Make Flu Shots A Part Of Your Cancer Care Plan

5 stores that reward you for getting a flu shot

Between cancer treatment and COVID-19, influenza might not top your list of health concerns right now. But getting the flu could be dangerous if youre currently undergoing cancer therapy, or even if youve completed it.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends almost everyone age 6 months and older including cancer patients and survivors get a flu shot by the end of October.

In fact, the novel coronavirus pandemic makes getting a flu shot more important this year than ever before. Heres why, and how to make it happen.

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Flu Symptoms And Dangers

Recovering from coronavirus does not protect you from catching the flu. Even if you had a mild course of illness, remember that the flu and COVID-19 share some uncomfortable symptoms:

  • Cough

In general, people who have a higher risk of serious complications from the flu include adults over the age of 65, pregnant women, very young children, and those with asthma, heart disease, diabetes, kidney diseaseand other chronic medical conditions, the CDC says.

People with a weakened immune system due to a diseasealso have a higher risk of more severe illness with the flu. As the pandemic unfolds, scientists have learned that COVID-19 can result in prolonged illness, even in young adults who were otherwise healthy.

Flu can spread before you have symptoms and for several days after you catch it. People with weakened immune systems who have the flu might be able to infect others for even more extended periods, the CDCadvises.

Best Places To Get A Flu Shot

When youre deciding where to get a flu shot, Nasia Safdar, MD, medical director of infection control and prevention at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, suggests picking a locale that is convenient and comfortable.

I think most places meet the standards of storing, documenting, and administering the flu shot correctly, says Dr. Safdar. So youre getting the same quality protection, no matter where you get the shot.

Note that all locations that administer the flu vaccine this year are using quadrivalent formulas rather than offering a trivalent option. This means the vaccine is designed to protect against four different flu viruses .

Here are a few factors to keep in mind when deciding which location suits you best.

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Why The Flu Shot Still Matters

If youve had COVID-19, you still need a flu shot because different viruses cause the two diseases. A novel coronavirus, called SARS-CoV-2, causes COVID-19, and several influenza viruses that change every year cause the flu, the CDCexplains.

TheCDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices determines the three or four flu viruses that are most likely to circulate in the next flu season, and vaccine manufacturers update the flu shot accordingly. In the United States, updates that address genetic changes in two influenza A viruses and one or two influenza B viruses are included in each seasons flu vaccines.

Get Treatment For The Flu

Doctors urging flu shots to prevent further health-care strain

Do you have flu symptoms, such as fever, body aches, cough, fatigue or sore throat? Get care fast with an Advocate primary care provider. We can evaluate your symptoms and decide whether you need to come in for treatment or a COVID test. Start with a virtual visit to:

  • Speak with one of our providers, available 24/7
  • Schedule a video visit with your provider during regular office hours

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What Are The Possible Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine

Flu vaccines come in two forms, a shot and a nasal spray:

  • The flu shot usually is injected into the upper arm or thigh, depending on a person’s age. It contains killed flu virus. It can cause soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site. Rarely, it might cause a low fever or body aches.
  • The nasal spray flu vaccine contains weakened live flu viruses. So it may cause mild flu-like symptoms, such as a runny nose, wheezing, sore throat, vomiting, or tiredness. Like the shot, it can sometimes cause a low fever or body aches.

Both vaccine types cause the body to make antibodies to fight off infection by the live flu virus, and they work equally well. This flu season , get whichever vaccine your doctor recommends. People with weak immune systems or some health conditions and pregnant women should not get the nasal spray vaccine.

The flu vaccine is very good at protecting against the flu, but it’s not 100%. And it only works against some types of the virus. If a new flu type appears, a person who’s had the vaccine may not be protected against it.

A few people who get the vaccine might get the flu. But the illness will be much milder and go away sooner than if they weren’t vaccinated.

Flu Shot: Your Best Bet For Avoiding Influenza

The flu, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , is a potentially fatal illness that can lead to hospitalization and death. Millions of people in the United States contract the flu each year, and tens of thousands of people die as a result of flu-related illnesses, according to the report. The flu can cause ear infections, bacterial pneumonia, and chronic health problems such as diabetes and heart failure.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , the flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of flu-related illness, hospitalizations, and fatalities in children. According to the Centers for Sickness Control and Prevention, it may even reduce the severity of disease in people who suffer breakthrough infections after getting vaccinated.

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