Doctor: Think you can't get the flu? Get a vaccine anyway.
JEFFERSON CITY —
The 2018 flu season was just beginning, but doctors said the severity of last year's flu season had them concerned.
In this week's Family First, KRCG 13 spoke with Dr. Katie Blount, who works at SSM Health Pediatrics in Jefferson City. She said you can help your family avoid the flu this year by making sure everyone older than six months gets a flu shot. She said October is the perfect time to get a flu vaccine.
"It's before we really get into respiratory season, it gives your body time to build immunity," she said. "But it's really important for kiddos to get their flu shots, especially those under two years old. That also goes for anybody with asthma, reactive airways, diabetes, or low immune systems."
Even if you believe you're the picture of perfect health, Dr. Blount said you should consider getting a flu shot to help those who are more vulnerable stay well too. "One of the reasons we had so much flu in the community last year is because we had less than 40 percent of the community vaccinated, and our goal is to be above 70 percent," she said. "If we can reach that point, we know that helps to control disease within the community."
Dr. Blount said many people may dread going to get a flu shot, but there are ways to make the experience less painful. "Here at SSM Pediatrics we have nurses who do nothing but give flu shots, day in and day out," she said. "They have really wonderful ways to distract the kids, keep them comfortable, and keep them safe when they get the vaccine. So we have people giving the vaccine as their number one job every day - and they're really good at it."
That's something Dr. Blount herself can attest to. She said she gets a flu shot by the end of every October to keep her patients safe. She said you can do the same for your family by making sure everyone older than six months old gets a flu shot as soon as possible.