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VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice: Flu season and the importance of the flu vaccine

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NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Marketing & Development Manager, Abigail Storiale joins us from VNA Community Healthcare & Hospice to share the importance of the flu vaccine.

Influenza is a serious lung disease caused by a virus, which spreads from person to person. Symptoms include fever, cough, chills, muscle aches, headache and sore throat.

Although many are only sick for a few days, thousands die each year. The virus can make anyone ill; most deaths are in people over age 50 and it is also particularly dangerous for young children. Serious complications, such as pneumonia can lead to hospitalization.

Everyone over 6 months of age should get the flu shot, particularly those with a chronic condition, caregivers of those at high-risk, students and those in institutional settings, residents of long-term care facilities and pregnant women.

The vaccine will prevent most strains of the flu and though it isn’t 100% effective as the virus changes frequently, it will decrease the severity of the illness if you do get the flu. The vaccine is developed yearly based on the strains expected to be most prevalent. The vaccine takes one to two weeks to take effect but will protect you for several months.

There are vaccines designed specifically for those over age 65 designed to create a stronger immune response, so ask your doctor for more information.

The vaccine cannot cause the flu, but it will not prevent other illnesses you may contract around the time of receiving the vaccine, and it can cause some side effects – including temporary fever or aches – though most people have no reaction at all.

Flu clinics:

Thursday, Oct. 10 from 9 to Noon

Miller Senior Center

2901 Dixwell Ave, Hamden

Friday, Oct. 11 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

St. George Church (church hall)

33 Whitfield St. Guilford

Tuesday, Oct. 15 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Joyce Budrow Senior Center

189 Pool Rd. North Haven

Thursday, Oct. 17 from 12:30 to 2:30 p.m.

Madison Senior Center (in library)

29 Bradley Rd. Madison

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