What is the flu?
Influenza (the flu) is a respiratory infection
caused by viruses. Symptoms
include the abrupt onset of fever, chills, sore throat, dry cough, runny
nose, headache, muscle aches, severe weakness and fatigue. Illness may last several days,
though the cough and malaise can persist for a week or more. Complications may require
hospitalization and can include pneumonia and even death.
Who needs a flu shot?
High risk people include senior citizens age 65
years and older and others with a chronic illness including diabetes,
heart, lung, kidney disease or immunosuppression. Also, those individuals who live
with or care for high risk people should receive the flu vaccine to help
protect the high risk persons.
Other generally healthy individuals who wish to reduce the
likelihood of becoming ill with the flu, may also receive the vaccine.
Tell me about the vaccine.
The flu vaccine is made from inactivated viruses.
You should consult your physician before getting a flu vaccine if you have
an egg allergy, Thimerosal allergy, have an active
neurological disorder, or are
currently ill. Children ages nine
to seventeen require written parental consent.
The VNA uses the
Bioject Needle-Free system to reduce the risk of needle sticks and
Nasal Flu Mist
The VNA will have a limited supply of nasal
Flu Mist available at public sites for healthy persons age 9 to 49 years.
What are the reactions to the flu vaccine?
The most common reaction to the flu vaccine is
soreness at the injection site. About 60% of those who receive the vaccine
will have a sore arm for a day or two. First time recipients may develop
fever, muscle aches or general feeling of illness or discomfort which
begins 6 - 12 hours after the vaccination and can last 1 - 2 days. This
occurs as the body builds the immune response. Nasal Flu Mist side effects
include runny nose, sore throat, and headache. Rare side effects to
both vaccines include allergic reactions, including death.
How can I obtain the flu shot?
The Visiting Nurse Association of Porter County
will publish the Flu Shot Clinic schedule regularly to local radio and
local newspapers. Additional flu clinics open to the public will be
announced as scheduled. Check the VNA Flu Clinic Locator below or the
American Lung Association's website at
for local flu shot clinic sites or call the VNA Flu Phone at 219-531-8088
for additional updates and information.
Flu shots will be administered on a first come,
first served basis using a number system at each location. The schedule
remains subject to change based on weather, and availability of flu
vaccine, clinic sites and volunteers.
$30 per flu shot or present
your Medicare Part B card. The VNA will not bill
Medicare replacement policies such as Medicare Advantage or Medicare HMO.
information, call the Flu Phone at 219-531-8088