MESA COUNTY, Colo. - Flu season is once again upon us, and before it kicks into high-gear health officials are reminding you to get your flu shots.
Dixie Burmeister recently visited with Veronica Daehn Harvey with the Mesa County Health Department to find out more.
"We're really urging people to get vaccinated now, so that they will be ready when flu season really hits," Daehn Harvey explained.
Not only do officials say it's important to protect yourself, but it's particularly critical to vaccinate those at higher risk, such as pregnant women, children under five, people with chronic medical conditions, and those 65 and older.
Daehn Harvey says those populations are particularly vulnerable because if those populations got the flu, the complications of it could be more serious.
There are some groups, however, that people shouldn't get the vaccine.
"So you wouldn't want to get the flu vaccine if you weren't feeling well. You would want to wait until you were feeling in good health," Daehn Harvey explained. "If you have a condition called Guillain-Barré Syndrome, and if you have any life-threatening allergies, you'd want to avoid getting the flu vaccination. But everybody else, the CDC recommends everyone six months and older who doesn't have those conditions get the vaccine."
There are more options than ever before in terms of how you take the vaccine and what type you can get.
"At the Mesa County Health Department we have injectable, nasal mist... high-dose, and intradermal," Daehn Harvey explained. But if you want an egg-free vaccine, if you want a preservative-free vaccine, most doctor's offices, primary care physicians, should be able to offer that."
There's a special offer that goes with immunizations Monday, September 30th only, otherwise, immunizations can be received at several other times.
"Tomorrow, September 30th, from 9am to 1pm we have a flu vaccination clinic, here at the community services building, which is 510 29 1/2 road, just off of North Avenue. And it's a really cool deal. If you get your flu shot, and you need a tetanus booster, you can get that for free," Daehn Harvey explained.
Symptoms of the real flu may not be just what you think. Daehn Harvey knows first-hand how bad the bug can be.
"I had the flu last year," Daehn Harvey revealed. "I did not get a flu shot, and it's the first year I haven't gotten it, and I will never not get a flu shot again. I felt so sick. I felt like I was never gonna get better. I mean, it was really, really miserable."
So what is the main reason people seem to shy away from flu vaccine?
"I would say the biggest misconception about getting your flu vaccine is that it's gonna make you sick," Daehn Harvey said. "And that's just simply not true."
The major message Daehn Harvey wants to get to you is...
"If you get sick with the flu, it can be very serious. And it's so easy to protect yourself by getting a quick vaccination," she says.
For more information on getting your flu vaccination, visit: "http://health.mesacounty.us/clinics/template.aspx?id=3409