Chester County, Pennsylvania
County of Chester
313 West Market Street
West Chester, PA 19380
610.344.6000

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Flu Vaccine


Flu Vaccine
  • You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. The viruses are killed or weakened so they cannot replicate.
  • The flu vaccine takes approximately two weeks to generate protective antibodies, so for the two weeks after receiving your vaccine, practice good health habits to avoid getting the flu.
  • Side effects from your vaccine are not actual flu infection but a response from your immune system to the flu germs in the vaccine. In a way, the vaccine is tricking your body into thinking you are infected. Active immunity from vaccine requires the body to detect the flu germs in order to make the protective antibodies. Side effects are an initial response from your immune system to the killed or weakened flu germs and are generally mild and resolve in 1-3 days. Taking pain relievers will not interfere with the vaccine and may be taken for comfort if necessary.
  • Each year, the flu vaccine protects against different flu viruses. A new immunization is required each year.

Annual outbreaks of the seasonal flu usually occur in late fall through early spring. Most people have natural immunity, but the best way to protect yourself from seasonal flu is to get the vaccine. In a typical year, approximately 5-20% of the population gets the seasonal flu and approximately 36,000 will die from the flu.

Symptoms
  • Fever
  • Coughing
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue

High Risk Groups for the Seasonal Flu
  • People age 65 and older
  • Children younger than 2 years old
  • People of any age who have chronic medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, asthma, congestive heart failure, lung disease)
  • Pregnant women

Prevention
  • The single most effective protection for the flu is getting the flu vaccine.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If you don't have a tissue, sneeze or cough into your sleeve.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Avoid contact with sick people.
  • If you are sick, stay home for seven days after your symptoms begin or until you have been symptom-free for 24 hours, whichever is longer. This is to keep from infecting others and spreading the virus further.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.

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