When Should You Get Your Flu Shot or FluMist Spray? Now!
If you haven't got your flu shot yet, time to hustle: Flu has already broken out in at least three states and both the influenza injection and nasal spray take two weeks to protect you.
Actually, it's not you we're worrying about. It's your doc, dentist, pharmacist, the lab tech where you donate blood and those nice aides who give you jellybeans afterward. Because last year more than a third of health-care workers blew off their flu shots. Huh? That's our reaction, too.
Embarrassingly, 66% is an improvement. Two years ago, only 50% of health care workers got vaccinated. So you could easily catch flu from someone whose job is to keep you healthy!
Until medical/government groups insist health-care workers get immunized, here's how to protect yourself from those who are supposed to protect you: (These vitamin-packed foods will help you fight flu.)
Prod:If you get your flu shot at a pharmacy, ask if the staff's been vaccinated.
Make your point: When you call for any medical appointment -- tooth cleaning, blood work, a mammogram -- ask if everyone's had their flu vaccine.
Worry most about: technicians, assistants, and aides. Only 47% got vaccinated last year. Docs, dentists and nurses averaged 78% -- better but not perfect. Everyone 6 months and older should be immunized.
Quick reminder! Besides health-care workers, flu protection is most critical for:
- Pregnant women (injections only)
- Children younger than 5
- Adults age 50 and up (injections only)
- Anyone with chronic medical problems
- Home caregivers