Understanding the Flu Vaccine for National Influenza Week

National Influenza Week is the perfect time to remind everyone to get a flu shot. Because the flu shot is the best available defense against getting this illness, it’s imperative for as many people as possible to receive it early in the season. Understanding more about National Influenza Week and the vaccine may provide the perfect incentive.

Why National Influenza Week?

The Centers for Disease Control, or CDC, began observing National Influenza Week in 2005 to highlight the importance of getting the flu shot. Current guidelines suggest that everyone older than six months should get a flu shot every year. While a nasal mist is also generally available, the CDC recommends getting the shot this year as the mist is not proving to be as effective.

Is It Too Late to Get a Flu Shot?

National Influenza Week might come and go, but people can benefit from the shot for months. Peak flu season starts in December, which is why the CDC holds the National Influenza Week observance in the first week of that month. New cases are rampant through March or even May. It’s definitely not too late for a vaccination.

Are You At High Risk?

The flu can be especially dangerous for certain segments of the population. Accordingly, it’s critical for members of these groups to get a flu shot. Pregnant women, anyone older than 65 or younger than five and anyone with conditions like heart disease or diabetes are particularly at risk for dangerous flu complications. Healthcare workers and those who provide care for people who are in an at-risk category should also be vaccinated.

The Earlier, The Better

It takes approximately two weeks for the flu vaccine to take full effect. This means that the sooner you get the shot, the sooner you’ll be fully protected.

ARCpoint Labs offers the flu shot nationwide. Contact us to find a location near you.

Immunization: Importance for Kids & Adults

Despite the media controversy surrounding immunization in recent years, reputable medical professionals still recommend a program of vaccinations to ensure ongoing health for children and adults.

Here is a look at why immunization is still vital, and not just for school-aged kids.

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What You Need to Know About the 2015-2016 Flu Season

The flu season in the United States typically begins as early as October and can last into May. The CDC says that flu season officially starts when key flu indicators first occur and then increase and remain high for a period of time. Key flu indicators can include flu-like illnesses, hospitalization, and deaths due to the flu. The peak of flu season typically occurs between December and February each year. This year, the flu has been slow to hit.

A Slow Start to the Flu Season

Overall flu activity has been relatively low in the U.S. While the flu season typically runs from October to May, overall seasonal flu activity has increased only slightly since October. However, this is not necessarily an indicator of how the rest of the season will turn out, meaning that individuals should continue to be wary of flu infection. Each year in the U.S., anywhere from 5 to 20% of the population gets the flu. The virus causes about 200,000 hospitalizations each year and kills around 36,000 people, according to the CDC.

Protecting Yourself with the Flue Vaccine

The CDC recommends that individuals older than six months old get a yearly flu shot, as this is the first step in warding off the virus. Although it is best to get the flu shot as early as possible, it is not too late to get the flu shot as long as the flu season lasts. It is still possible to get strains of the flu not protected against in the vaccine, but the vaccine protects individuals from the most common strains. Young children, older adults, and individuals with medical conditions are the most likely to be hospitalized or experience serious complications as a result of the flu. If you do get the flu, antiviral drugs are available through a doctor’s prescription to treat the illness.

Get Your Flu Shot Today

ARCpoint Labs provides flu vaccinations nationwide. Visit our website to find your nearest location.

What You Should Know About This Year’s Flu Shot

Are you a little weary about getting the flu shot this year?

We don’t blame you.

Last year, the CDC admitted that the flu vaccine in rotation was not as effective in fighting the flu as experts had hoped, all due to an antigenic H3N2 strain that wasn’t protected against in 2014-15’s batch of flu shots. H3N2 was the most common strain of influenza last year and around half of them were drift variants.

Still, you can’t let last year’s flu shot effect whether or not you get this year’s. In fact, even when the shot is admittedly not as effective, you should still get it.

Here’s why it’s not a good idea to skip the flu shot this year — and the good news about 2015-16’s vaccine.

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Keys to Healthy Aging

Happy Healthy Aging Month!

September is the time we draw attention to how individuals can promote healthy aging and live full, quality lives in their senior years.

Today, we’re sharing some key ways that adults 65+ (or nearing that age) can promote their own healthy aging.

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Why Choose a Flu Shot? Benefits for Individuals & Workplaces [Infographic]

It may not feel like it, but flu season is around the corner.

In an effort to get more people immunized, we are sharing some of the impacts that the flu shot has on individuals and workplaces.

Check out our infographic below for details, or contact your nearest ARCpoint Labs for more information.

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New California Vaccination Law

Gov. Jerry Brown Signed Senate Bill 277 into Law

After many months of speculation and uncertainty, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on June 30 Senate Bill 277. The law requires most California children to be fully vaccinated in order to attend public or private schools, regardless of their parents’ personal or religious beliefs. California now will permit only medical exemptions as legitimate reasons not to be vaccinated

Sen. Richard Pan, D-Sacramento, said, “The science is clear. Californians have spoken. The governor and Legislature have spoken,” adding that the law would help to prevent more outbreaks of preventable diseases. Concerns over the spread of diseases as a result of parents not vaccinating their children rose in December during a measles outbreak at Disneyland. By the time the outbreak was over in April, there were 136 measles cases in California alone, and about 20% of those cases required hospitalization. Proponents of the bill said that this could have been prevented if more children had been required to be vaccinated.vaccine law

Support for the Bill

Supporters of the bill hope that it will send a strong message to the rest of the country. Only two other states, Mississippi and West Virginia, have similar laws. Proponents hope that other states will follow California’s lead in taking steps to have stronger restrictions on who can be exempt from vaccines, as they consider it a matter of public health. No state “wants to continue to see (outbreaks) happen in their neighborhoods,” Pan said.

Health and education organizations across the state support the bill. These organizations include the California Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics of California, California State PTA, California Immunization Coalition, and the California Children’s Hospital Association.

Titers Testing

ARCpoint Labs provide titers testing, which can gauge your immunity to certain vaccine-preventable diseases. If you have lost your vaccination records and need to prove that you have had the correct shots, titer testing is essential. With the new California law, many parents will need to show records that their children have been vaccinated. Wellness-certified locations also can provide some vaccinations, such as the flu shot, MMR, and TDap. Put your and your children’s health first and find your nearest ARCpoint Labs location today.

Which is Worse: Side Effects of the Flu Shot or Side Effects of the Flu?

If you are on the fence about getting your flu shot because you think the side effects of the flu shot are worse than the side effects of the flu, you may have been exposed to some misinformation.

We’re here to clear up any questions about flu shot side effects, particularly how they compare to the side effects of the flu itself.

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Why You Should Still Get Your Flu Shot

You may have seen some alarmist headlines over the past few days proclaiming that this year’s flu shot doesn’t work and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention are apologizing for its ineffectiveness.

However, we’re here with the facts about the CDC’s recent press release and what it really means.

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The Flu Can Do What?!

We’ve written about the importance of the flu vaccine before (several times, in fact), but with flu season almost here, it’s time for a refresher on what exactly influenza can do.

When we share facts about the flu shot, we notice one troubling response: sure, the flu shot might help me not get sick, but what’s the big deal? The flu isn’t that bad, is it?

The flu is much more than a mere nuisance. Here are some details about influenza that you might not know — and that prove how important the flu shot is!

Continue reading “The Flu Can Do What?!” »