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VNA of Care New England
VNA of Care New England

Flu Frequently Asked Questions

When and where can I get the 2016 - 2017 flu shot?

Clinics start September 26, 2016 this year.The VNA of Care New England has many public flu clinics scheduled for the upcoming flu season throughout Rhode Island. Public clinics locations, dates and times have now been posted. Walk-ins are always welcome at the VNA of Care New England Office at 51 Health Lane in Warwick, RI, on Saturdays and Sundays throughout October, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Is there a difference from last year's flu shot?

The 2016- 2017 flu vaccine has changed since last year.  This year VNA of Care New England is providing the quadrivalent vaccine which will prevent against four different viruses.

Exactly what strains of flu virus are included in this year's vaccine?

A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)–like virus
A/Hong Kong/4801/2014 (H3N2)–like virus
B/Brisbane/60/2008–like virus (Victoria lineage).
Quadrivalent vaccines will include an additional vaccine virus strain, a B/Phuket/3073/2013–like virus (Yamagata lineage).

Why Should I Get the Flu Shot?

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious complications, hospitalization, or even death. Anyone can get the flu, and vaccination is the single best way to protect against influenza. Even healthy children and adults can get very sick from the flu and spread it to family and friends. Flu viruses are constantly changing. Each flu season, different flu viruses can spread. Getting vaccinated against the flu every season protects against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will cause the most illness this season. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the flu vaccine as the first and most important step in preventing flu.

Who should get a flu shot?

Everyone 6 months of age and older should get vaccinated against the flu as soon as the 2016-2017 season vaccine is available. People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older. This includes:

  • People with chronic pulmonary and cardiovascular disorders such as asthma.
  • Patients who have required regular medical follow-up or hospitalization during the preceding year due to chronic metabolic diseases such as diabetes, or immunosuppression.
  • Nursing home residents.
  • Children and adolescents on long-term aspirin therapy.
  • Health care workers, and other people who live with or care for high risk people to keep from spreading flu to high risk people.
  • Pregnant women.

Who should NOT get the flu vaccine?

Influenza vaccine is not approved for use in children younger than 6 months so they should not be vaccinated, but their caregivers should be vaccinated instead. People who are sick with fever should wait until their symptoms pass to get vaccinated. Some people should not be vaccinated before talking to their doctor. This includes:

  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
  • People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past.
  • People who developed Guillian-Barré syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously.

Do I need to get the shot this year if I got it last year?

Yes. Even if you got the flu shot last year, you still need to get it again this year – it does not last for more than one year. Immunity from the vaccine declines over time and annual vaccination is needed for optimal protection.

How quickly does the vaccine start to work?

Protection develops approximately two weeks after receiving the flu shot.

Can I get the flu from a flu shot?

No. Flu shots are safe and cannot give you the flu because they are made from killed or very weakened virus.

What are the side effects of getting the flu shot?

Some people do experience mild side effects from the flu shot, however, these do not occur frequently, and include soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot is given.

How much does the flu shot cost?

VNA of Care New England accepts most insurances, including Medicare Part B. If your insurer does not participate with VNA of Care New England, we will provide you with a receipt to submit to your insurance carrier.

What can be done to help prevent getting the flu?

Be diligent about hand-washing. It is the best way to prevent the spread of flu.  Secondly, be sure to get your flu shot.  It is an easy and inexpensive way to prevent what could potentially be deadly.

What if I need additional information?

Call our Flu Appointment Line at (401) 921-7785 and leave a message with your name and phone number for a nurse to call you back . If you have a specific question, you can email a member of our Flu Team at vnafluprogram@carene.org. We will respond to your question as soon as possible. Please note, that it may take up to 24 hours during the week and 48 hours on weekends to respond.

Care New England
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