A Shot at a Healthy Flu Season

Flu season is right around the corner, and now is the time to protect yourself. A flu shot is one of the best things you can do.

Those immunizations aren't just for adults. Pediatricians say kids need a shot in the arm, too.

Dr. Dan Reynolds of PediatricCare says influenza is deadly. According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than 200,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized from flu complications every year, and about 36,000 people die from flu. Reynolds says the influenza virus is aggressive, and spreads quickly, which makes it thrive in a kid's environment. He says kids share everything -- toys, utensils, food -- and they're always touching, while not washing their hands as often as they should.

Reynolds says all kids should get an annual influenza vaccine, especially those aged six months to five years. This year, the Centers for Disease Control puts them in the highest-risk category for flu, along with people over age 55, those with chronic conditions, like asthma, and people living in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. Also, since children under six months of age can't be vaccinated, Reynolds says it's vital those who are around them get the shot. By immunizing adults, he says, those infants don't get the flu.

Reynolds says now is the time to get vaccinated, since it takes about two to three weeks after to build up immunity. Those under age nine getting it for the first time are vaccinated in two doses, 30 days apart.

Reynolds says, after a couple down years, we're due for a flu outbreak. He says if this is a bad year, he wants to be sure all kids who can be are immunized. It may not ward off all the sniffles and sneezes, but it will make everyone better able to fight off those they do get.

For more information on influenza, visit www.cdc.gov/flu.

Cotton-O'Neil Flu Shot Clinics

PediatricCare Walk-in Flu Shot Clinic
4100 S.W 15th
For PediatricCare Patients Only
October 25 - 2 to 4:30 p.m.
October 28 - 9 to 11 a.m.
Every Wednesday in November • 2 to 4:30 p.m.
Friday, November 3, 10 and 17 • 2 to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 4, 11and 18 • 9 to11 a.m.

Cotton-O'Neil Drive-Thru Flu Shot Clinic
For Cotton-O'Neil Clinic patients only
Tuesday, Oct. 24 through Thursday, Nov. 2
8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Only
Stormont-Vail Surgical Suites Parking Garage
(Enter off Garfield, between 9th and 10th Ave.)

Cotton-O'Neil Walk-In Flu Shot Clinic
For Cotton-O'Neil Clinic patients only
Tuesday, Oct. 24 through Wendesday, Nov. 22
8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Only
Cotton-O'Neil Heart Center
929 S.W. Mulvane, Second Floor

Consent forms for the Cotton-O'Neil Flu Shot Clinics are available to complete at home and bring to the flu shot clinic. Visit www.stormontvail.org to download the consent form and learn more about the flu shot clinic.

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