Flu & Flu Vaccination Information

The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against influenza (flu) is to get a flu vaccine every flu season. Flu is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious illness, hospitalization, or even death. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends everyone six months and older get an annual flu vaccine. 

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Click on a topic below for more information from the CDC:
What is the flu?
Signs and symptoms of the flu

Flu & People 65 Years and Older
Flu & Pregnant Women
Key reasons to get a flu vaccine
What kinds of flu vaccines are recommended
Why it's important to get the flu shot every year
Can the flu vaccine give you the flu?
Is the Flu Vaccine Safe?
What are the side effects of flu vaccines

What is the cost of the flu vaccine at Scenic Bluffs?



What is the flu?

Influenza (also known as “flu”) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death.
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What are the signs and symptoms of the flu?

Flu signs and symptoms usually come on suddenly. People who are sick with flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:

  • Fever* or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue (tiredness)
  • Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
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Flu & People 65 Years and Older

It has been recognized for many years that people 65 years and older are at high risk of developing serious complications from flu compared with young, healthy adults. This risk is due in part to changes in immune defenses with increasing age. While flu seasons vary in severity, during most seasons, people 65 years and older bear the greatest burden of severe flu disease. In recent years, for example, it’s estimated that between 70 percent and 85 percent of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older, and between 50 percent and 70 percent of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in this age group. For more information on the flu and people 65 years and older, please visit the CDC website here.
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Flu & Pregnant Women

Influenza (flu) is more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in women of reproductive age who are not pregnant. Changes in the immune system, heart, and lungs during pregnancy make pregnant women (and women up to two weeks postpartum) more prone to severe illness from flu, including illness resulting in hospitalization. Flu also may be harmful for a pregnant woman’s developing baby. A common flu symptom is fever, which may be associated with neural tube defects and other adverse outcomes for a developing baby. Getting vaccinated also can help protect a baby after birth from flu. (Mom passes antibodies onto the developing baby during her pregnancy.)

For more information on the flu and pregnant women, please visit the CDC website here.
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What are some key reasons to get a flu vaccine?
  • Every year, flu vaccination prevents illnesses, medical visits, hospitalizations, and deaths.
  •  Flu vaccination also is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. For example flu vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among in people with heart disease.
  • Vaccinating pregnant women helps protect them from flu illness and hospitalization, and also has been shown to help protect the baby from flu infection for several months after birth, before the baby can be vaccinated.
  • A 2017 study showed that flu vaccine can be life-saving in children.
  •  While some people who get vaccinated still get sick, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness.

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Why is it important to get a flu vaccine EVERY year?
  • Flu viruses are constantly changing, so flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests will be common during the upcoming flu season.
  • Your protection from a flu vaccine declines over time. Yearly vaccination is needed for the best protection.
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 Is the flu vaccine safe?

Flu vaccines have a good safety record. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years. Extensive research supports the safety of seasonal flu vaccines. Each year, CDC works with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration 
(FDA) and other partners to ensure the highest safety standards for flu vaccines. More information about the safety of flu vaccines is available at www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/vaccinesafety.htm.
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What are the side effects of flu vaccines?

Flu shots: Flu shots are made using killed flu viruses (for inactivated vaccines), or without flu virus at all (for the recombinant vaccine). So, you cannot get flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that may occur include soreness, redness and/or swelling where the shot was given, low grade fever, and aches. 
Nasal spray flu vaccines: The viruses in nasal spray flu vaccines are weakened and do not cause the severe symptoms often associated with influenza illness. For adults, side effects from the nasal spray may include runny nose, headache, sore throat, and cough. For children, side effects may also include wheezing, vomiting, muscle aches, and fever. 
If these problems occur, they are usually mild and go away on their own, but serious reactions are also possible. Almost all people who receive flu vaccine have no serious problems from it. 
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 What kinds of flu vaccines are recommended? 

There are several licensed and recommended flu vaccine options this season:

  •  Standard dose flu shots made from virus grown in eggs.
  • Shots made with adjuvant and high dose for older adults.
  • Shots made with virus grown in cell culture instead of eggs.
  • Shots made using a recombinant vaccine production technology that does not require the use of a flu virus.
  •  Live attenuated influenza vaccine (LAIV, the nasal spray vaccine), which is made with live, weakened influenza viruses. It is an option for people 2 through 49 years of age who are not pregnant.

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What is the cost of the flu vaccine at Scenic Bluffs?

Scenic Bluffs has flu vaccinations available for $37, or as covered by your insurance. To schedule an appointment, please call Scenic Bluffs at 608-654-5100. Appointments for flu vaccinations are available in both Cashton and Norwalk.
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Can the flu vaccine give you the flu?

No, flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines given with a needle (i.e., flu shots) are made with either inactivated (killed) viruses, or with only a single protein from the flu virus.  The nasal spray vaccine contains live viruses that are attenuated (weakened) so that they will not cause illness.
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The information above was provided by the CDC. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/flu