Health Information
Flu Vaccine and Pneumovax

Vaccination against flu or pneumococcal pneumonia may be appropriate for you if you:

Flu Vaccination
We may recommend that you receive a flu vaccination. Flu vaccine is made from killed virus, so no one can get influenza from receiving a flu vaccination. A yearly vaccination has been found to be 70 – 90 percent effective in preventing flu. After a year or so, the vaccine’s protectiveness wanes. It is not as long lasting as protection from actually having the flu. High risk people should be vaccinated again each year with the current vaccine. You should NOT receive a flu vaccine if you have an allergy to eggs, if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you have a past history of Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Reactions:
Most people have little or no reaction to the vaccine. One in four might have a swollen, red, tender area where the vaccination was given. A much smaller number may develop a slight fever within 24 hours. They may have chills, headache, or feel a little sick. People who already have a respiratory disease may find their symptoms worsened for a few days. Please call our office should these symptoms persist.

There is a possibility, although rare, of a severe reaction. The Guillain-Barre syndrome, which affects the nervous system, may affect a relatively small number – about 1 in 100,000 – of those Vaccinated. Most recover with no lasting effects. Fewer than one in twenty of those struck by this disease die.

We request that you wait in our office for 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine.

Pneumonia Vaccination
We may recommend that you receive a vaccination against pneumococcal pneumonia. The vaccine helps protect against 80 percent of the most common or serious strains of pneumococcal pneumonia. It serves as a prevention, not a cure or treatment. It does not provide any protection against pneumonia due to other causes, such as viral pneumonia. Revaccination can be considered five years after the initial administration.

Reactions:
You should NOT receive a pneumonia vaccine if you have an allergy to eggs, if you are pregnant or nursing, or if you are on immunosuppressive or radiation therapy.

With rare exception, reactions appear to be limited to a sore arm and low grade fever lasting no longer than 24 hours. We request that you wait in our office 15 minutes after receiving the vaccine.


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