Ready, Set, Vaccinate
For the final quarter of the year, United Way emphasizes health, which is our largest impact area. Last year, our health efforts helped 12,829 people access medical, dental, and behavioral care, as well as a counseling and therapies. With cooler weather approaching, we’re happy to share actions you can take to protect against flu.
1) Get Vaccinated. The best way to prevent seasonal flu is to get vaccinated. Getting a flu vaccine every year is the best way to protect yourself and your family from flu and its potentially serious complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccinations for everyone ages six months and older.
The Tennessee Department of Health offers free flu vaccinations at hubs across the state. Mercy Community Healthcare— a United Way partner— provides free flu shots as well. These agencies alert local communities once free vaccinations are available.
2) Preventative Steps. Good health habits like covering your cough and washing your hands often can help stop the spread of germs and prevent respiratory illnesses like the flu. We also encourage you to avoid contact with people who are sick and to stay home when you don’t feel well. These steps prevent the spread of flu. You can help prevent flu at home, work, or school by routinely cleaning touched objects and surfaces.
3) Treatment. There are prescription medications called “antiviral drugs” that can be used to treat flu illness. Most people with flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. If, however, you flu symptoms and are in a high-risk group, or worried about your illness, contact your health care provider for treatment.
Content sources: Tennessee Department of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention