If you have ever had the flu, you know it can knock you out-with members of your family, friends, and co-workers not far behind. This season, flu may pack more of a punch than usual because of the H1N1 flu virus (sometimes called "swine flu"). H1N1 has been the most common flu virus circulating so far this season.
National Influenza Vaccination Week was established by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to highlight the importance of continuing influenza vaccination after the holiday season. Since H1N1 flu is likely to continue, National Influenza Vaccination Week is an important opportunity to increase the number of people who get the H1N1 vaccine.
As part of National Influenza Vaccination Week, January 10th - 16th, the Visiting Nurse Association of Porter County will offer H1N1 flu shot clinics on Tuesday, January 12th from 9:00 am until 12 noon and Thursday, January 14th from 3:00 pm until 6:00pm at the VNA building at 2401 Valley Drive in Valparaiso.
H1N1 flu shots will be provided free of charge and are available to persons age 9 and older. The VNA is not able to vaccinate children under the age of 9 years. Flu shots will be administered on a first come, first served basis at each clinic.
Flu vaccines are very safe and effective and closely monitored for any potential side effects. And, it's important to realize that the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu. Why? Because the injected flu shot contains inactivated (killed) viruses, and the nasal spray contains attenuated (weakened) viruses and cannot cause flu illness. If you get the flu soon after getting the flu vaccine, it means that you may have been exposed to the virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the two-week period it takes the body to gain protection after getting vaccinated, or you are sick with a non-flu respiratory virus that has symptoms similar to those of the flu.
For more information, check the VNA website at www.vnaportercounty.org or call the VNA Flu Phone at 219-531-8088.