Authored by Nick Rupp, PR and Communications Coordinator, SLCO Health Department
When it comes to health, teens and preteens often feel invincible. They’re too young to be concerned about most age-related ailments, and they’re old enough to not worry as much about childhood illnesses. But this sense of invincibility is—like so many things in youth—false. Teens and preteens still need to be current on recommended immunizations, and that includes a flu vaccine every year.
In addition to protecting yourself, getting a flu shot is people, over age 65, because our immune systems become less robust as we age; those groups are more susceptible to serious complications from the flu.
Contrary to popular belief, the “flu” is not a stomach illness and it does not generally cause nausea or vomiting. Influenza, the virus that causes the flu, infects the nose, throat, and lungs, making the “flu” actually like a really, really bad cold. It also makes you extremely weak, achy, and tired, so much that people with the flu often cannot physically get out of bed. These symptoms can last a couple weeks.
Now is the time to get your flu vaccine for this season; flu generally begins circulating in our community in late October, and it can take a couple weeks after receiving it for the vaccine to become fully effective. You can get a flu vaccine from many places in Salt Lake County: your health care provider, most local pharmacies, or any Salt Lake County Health Department Clinic. To make an appointment at the health department, call 385-468-SHOT (7468). Most insurance companies cover the cost of the seasonal flu vaccine.