Did you know that you are likely to spread influenza (flu) even before you have symptoms? The flu is caused by a virus that is spread person to person by droplets produced when individuals with the flu cough, talk, or sneeze. Symptoms of the flu may include cough, sore throat, tiredness, fever, body aches or a runny nose. Typical flu season in the United States goes is from October to May.
How do I avoid the flu? The best way to treat the flu is to prevent the flu. And, the best way to prevent the flu is by getting a yearly flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone at least six months of age get a flu vaccine. There are different types of flu vaccines available depending on your risk factors. The recommended flu vaccines are inactivated or recombinant (not infectious) and help your body prepare to fight off the flu virus by making antibodies. There is a live flu vaccine (nasal spray), but it is not recommended because it has not worked as well. Additional ways to prevent the flu include frequent hand washing, covering your nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, regularly cleaning surfaces that are contaminated, and avoiding close contact with others with the flu. Talk to your friendly pharmacist or doctor to see which vaccine is best for you!
What about antibiotics? Antibiotics will not work to kill viruses. Antibiotics only kill bacteria and will not help you get better if you have the flu.
What should I expect after I get the flu vaccine? The flu vaccine is a single injection. The most common side effects of the flu vaccine include temporary local injection site reactions (bruising, redness, itching, or tenderness). The recommended flu vaccines are not active and will not cause you to get the flu.
Why should I get a flu vaccine? The flu is a serious concern and can cause missed school or work days, hospitalization, and in the worst case, death. Not only can the flu vaccine help you stay healthy, but it also helps your family and friends stay healthy because it reduces the spread of the flu.
Where can I get my flu vaccine? UofL Hospital’s two Outpatient Pharmacy locations will both be offering quadrivalent inactivated flu vaccines (Fluarix Quadrivalent®). No appointment or prescription necessary. Anyone can come and receive one!
How much does it cost? Flu shots are covered through most insurances and all Medicare Part B. For those without insurance, we offer the flu vaccine for $25.
Please call our Ambulatory Care Building Outpatient with any questions:
Ambulatory Care Building Outpatient Pharmacy
550 South Jackson Street, Louisville, KY 40202
Monday-Friday: 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
How do I find out more? To learn more about the flu and ways to prevent it, please visit the CDC.