With flu season upon us, residents of New York will soon be rushing out to protect themselves against the flu and other viruses common in this season. The flu can be not only miserable, but dangerous to some people, such as pregnant women and the elderly. Flu vaccines work by putting a very small amount of the influenza virus into the bloodstream in order to protect against these viruses.
Who Needs the Flu Vaccine
Everyone should get the flu shot to protect themselves against the flu and similar viruses, but there are some people in New York who are at a greater risk. According to Manhattan physician Dr. Marina Gafanovich MD, this includes women who are pregnant, health care workers, adults over 50 and especially over 65, anyone caring for an infant that is six months or younger, children or adults with a sensitive immune system, children and teens between six months old and 18 years old, and people who are morbidly obese. There are also some individuals with medical conditions putting them at risk, such as asthma, heart or liver disease, diabetes and chronic respiratory conditions.
Types of Flu Vaccines
There are two main types of flu vaccines available in New York: the flu shot and the nasal spray vaccine. The flu shot is more common and available in many more locations throughout the state. Both are effective at protecting from the flu, though women who are pregnant or breastfeeding, anyone with long term health conditions and babies under two years old, should get the shot.
How Effective is the Flu Vaccine?
Getting the flu vaccine once a year protects you from influenza in the fall and winter season. It is highly effective, though this may vary from year to year. Children who also need their other vaccines can also get the flu shot at the same time. There are mild side effects after getting it, such as fever, aches, soreness and redness around the site where it was given. It is safe for most people, though if you already have the flu, have had allergic reactions to it in the past or have a serious allergy to eggs, should consult their doctor before getting it.
Finding a Location in New York
There are many places to find the flu vaccination in the state of New York. All primary care doctors in the state offer the seasonal vaccine, as well as many pharmacies throughout the state. There are also flu shot mobile trucks that drive around, offering it for free or at a low cost. You can also look for locations near you by visiting the NYU.Gov website.
If you live or work in New York, you have multiple opportunities to get the flu vaccination. In some cases, you won’t have to pay for it, though if you do pay, it is inexpensive.