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Everyone around me is sick!  I know there is more than just the flu going around, but I like to avoid getting the flu every year too!  Here are some prevention tips for the flu season from Tom Davis, RPh, Vice President of Pharmacy Professional Practices at CVS/pharmacy.

Tips for Flu Season:

  • Make Sure to Get the Flu Shot Every Year: It’s important to get the flu shot every year because the immunity provided by the vaccine declines over time.  A flu shot is the most effective way to protect yourself and your family from catching the flu. It takes up to two weeks for your immunity to build up after getting a flu shot so it is best to get vaccinated as soon as you can.
  • Keep it Convenient: To help prevent the flu, CVS/pharmacy locations make it convenient to get the flu shot every day, including evenings and weekends. No appointment is necessary and flu shots are at no cost with most insurance.  And if you are an ExtraCare member, you will receive a 20% off CVS Shopping Pass when you get a flu shot at CVS.
  • Frequently Wash Hands throughout the Day: Touching everyday items like door handles and other surfaces can be difficult to avoid. To help combat germs, wash hands frequently (especially after coughing or sneezing) with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your mouth, eyes, and nose areas. Alcohol-based soaps and hand cleansers are especially effective when you are on the go.
  • Practice Good Health Habits: Getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, managing stress, drinking adequate fluids, and eating nutritious food are all healthy habits that can help to keep your immune system in top condition during flu season.
  • Take Your Vitamins: Taking vitamins all year long is a good idea, especially during flu season.  You want to make your immune system as strong as it can be to fight any illnesses that you encounter.  Between your daily vitamins and extra immune defense you can take is great.  Zinc is another good one to stock up on in your system. Zinc Ionophores are essential for overall immune function, gut health, inflammatory and hormonal balance, brain function, and more.
  • Make Sure Your Kids are Safe: Children younger than age 5 (especially under the age of two) are at high risk for flu-related complications. For school-age children, remind them of the importance of handwashing and using tissues when they sneeze. Please note the influenza vaccine is not approved for children younger than 6 months of age.
  • If you’re Expecting, Take Extra Precautions: Pregnant women are more susceptible to getting sick, including catching the flu, because their immune systems are weaker than usual. During pregnancy, the flu can escalate quickly and be complicated by infections such as fetal distress or pneumonia. Pregnant women should make sure they are up to date on all vaccines, including the flu shot.