Category Archives: Influenza

Flu has hit young and middle-aged hard this winter – CDC

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Influenza viruses

Influenza viruses

Feb 20, 2014

The flu hit younger- and middle-age adults hard this season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Thursday.

While the elderly tend to be most vulnerable to influenza, a large majority of those hospitalized with the flu this season, 61%, were people age 18-64 — a big jump from what was seen during the past three flu seasons in which people from this age group made up only about 35 percent of hospitalizations.

Influenza deaths this season are following a similar pattern, with people 25 years to 64 years of age accounting for about 60 percent of flu deaths compared with 18 percent, 30 percent, and 47 percent for the three previous seasons.   Continue reading

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Antibiotics don’t prevent complications of kids’ respiratory infections

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Three red and white capsulesBy Milly Dawson
HBNS Contributing Writer
FEB 18, 2014

Antibiotics are often prescribed for young children who have upper respiratory tract infections (URIs) in order to prevent complications, such as ear infections and pneumonia, however, a new evidence review in The Cochrane Library found no evidence to support this practice.  Continue reading

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It’s still not too late to get your flu shot

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A Consumer Update from the FDA

February 4, 2014

Flu shot todayMeant to get vaccinated in the fall to ward off the flu, but somehow didn’t get around to it?

Think it’s too late to get vaccinated now?

Not so. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), vaccinations can be protective as long as flu viruses are circulating.

And while seasonal flu outbreaks can happen as early as October, flu activity usually peaks in January or February, and can last well into May.  Continue reading

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5 fast facts about this year’s flu season — CDC

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Digitally-colorized image of a collection of influenza A virions. The predominant influenza A virus this year is H1N1 - CDC photo

Digitally-colorized image of a collection of influenza A virions. The predominant influenza A virus this year is H1N1.

From the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Here are some things to know about the 2013-2014 flu season so far and steps you can take to protect yourself from flu.  Continue reading

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Flu widespread across state, nine confirmed deaths

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H1N1 viruses

H1N1 viruses

Flu is now widespread across the state and has caused at least nine flu deaths in Washington state since December, the Washington State Department of Health reported Wednesday.

It is likely the number flu deaths is higher because only laboratory confirmed cases must be reported to the state and in many cases laboratory testing is not done, health officials said.  Continue reading

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Flu virus - courtesy of NAIAD

Flu widespread in King County, young adults more vulnerable

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From Public Health – Seattle & King County

Seasonal flu widespread in King County, young adults more vulnerable than usual 

Now is the time to get vaccinated

If you’ve noticed more people are sick at work or at school, it might be the flu.  Infections are on the rise locally, as seasonal influenza has gone from barely detectable levels in early December to widespread in King County.

“It’s easy to get complacent about the flu, since we see it every year, but it brings real hardship and dangers,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Chief of Communicable Disease Epidemiology & Immunization for Public Health – Seattle & King County.  “Catching the flu can not only disrupt your life, it can be severe enough to send you to the hospital.”

Two noteworthy aspects of this year’s flu season:

  • Younger adults face a greater risk of severe illness than usual. 

    Locally and across the US, healthcare providers are reporting an increase in severe influenza infections – requiring intensive hospital care for young and middle-age adults.

    The predominant strain circulating currently is influenza A H1N1, which happens to be the same one that led to the 2009 flu pandemic.

    This virus causes infections and severe illness in all ages, but compared to other influenza strains, it causes higher rates of illness and death among young and middle-age adults, including those with no underlying health conditions.

  • Pregnant women should get vaccinated at any stage of pregnancy.

    The flu vaccine is both safe and effective for pregnant women, including during the first trimester.

    Vaccinating during pregnancy protects not only the mother but the fetus and child as well. Newborn infants can’t be vaccinated until they’re six months old.

Anyone who lives with or cares for an infant younger than six months should also get vaccinated to protect the infant from getting flu.

Other members of the community at increased risk for severe influenza include the elderly and people who have long-term health problems, like diabetes, asthma, and heart or lung problems.

Flu vaccine is the best protection; other drugs also available

The flu vaccine is in plentiful supply, and it’s not too late to get vaccinated to reduce your chances of getting the flu.  Influenza activity generally peaks in January or later in our region and continues circulating until spring.

“Anyone six months and older who has not yet been vaccinated this season should get an influenza vaccine now to reduce their risk of illness,” said Duchin.

Another important line of protection is antiviral drugs, especially for people with severe influenza or at high risk of complications. Antiviral treatment should be started promptly if you are pregnant or in a high-risk group and develop flu symptoms, including fever, cough, sore throat and muscle aches.

Where to get flu vaccine

Flu vaccine (shots and nasal spray) is available at many healthcare provider offices and pharmacies for those who have insurance or are able to pay for vaccination. Visit http://flushot.healthmap.org to help find locations.

If you don’t have insurance, you can find free or low-cost insurance through Washington Healthplanfinder. Other immunization assistance is available through the Family Health Line at 800-322-2588.

For more information, visit www.kingcounty.gov/health/flu

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Flu spreading rapidly in Snohomish County, health officials warn

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Influenza viruses

Influenza viruses

From the Snohomish Health District:

Influenza is spreading rapidly in Snohomish County.  Local health providers report a significant uptick in positive flu tests in the past two weeks, and many of the sick are people younger than 65. Seven local people died of the flu during last year’s flu season.

The predominant strain nationally so far is H1N1, the same kind of virus that sickened much of the nation in 2009. During the 2009 pandemic, younger adults and children, particularly people with chronic medical conditions and pregnant women, were harder hit by H1N1 compared with adults age 65 and older. The same pattern could emerge this year if H1N1 circulates widely.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report some severe illnesses, hospitalizations, and deaths from H1N1 to date in the 2013-2014 flu season.

Three Washington state residents have died from flu so far this season (not in Snohomish County), and three have been hospitalized.

These severe flu outcomes are a reminder that flu can be a very serious disease for anyone, including young, healthy adults.

Visit www.flu.gov for more information about flu, and www.doh.wa.gov for statewide updates.

Flu activity in Snohomish County historically peaks in February or later. Last flu season, the deaths of seven people in Snohomish County were attributed to flu-related illness.

In the United States, over a recent 30-year period, the CDC reports that the flu was linked to thousands of deaths each year — ranging from 3,000 to 49,000.

The vaccine for this current flu season is available at medical providers and pharmacies throughout the county and will protect against three or four kinds of influenza virus — including H1N1 — that make people sick.

Washing hands, covering your coughs, and staying home when you are sick are effective ways to reduce spreading and getting diseases. Vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and others.

Everyone 6 months and older should get a shot every year, since the flu vaccine changes to match the most common illnesses. Flu shots do not contain live virus — getting the flu from this vaccine is not possible. 

The flu vaccine is strongly recommended for people who are

  • 6 months old — up to their 19th birthday
  • 50 years and older
  • age 6 months and older with certain chronic health conditions
  • pregnant and in any trimester
  • living in long-term care facilities
  • living with or caring for those at high risk for complications from the flu
  • health care personnel
  • household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of infants age 0-6 months (who are too young to receive vaccine)

The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs. People who have the flu often feel some or all of these signs and symptoms:

  • Fever or feeling feverish/chills
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • Extreme fatigue

Flu viruses spread when people with flu expel droplets from their mouths or noses while coughing, sneezing or talking. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby.

People can also get flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching their own mouth, eyes or nose. A person can spread flu before they know they’re sick and up to seven days after. Children can spread it for even longer.

Again, the best way to avoid getting or spreading the flu is to get a flu shot, and also washing hands, covering coughs and staying home if sick.

If an individual is already sick with the flu, antiviral medications can lessen symptoms and help prevent serious complications. They work best when started quickly. It’s also important to stay away from others for at least 24 hours after a fever is gone without the use of fever-reducing medicine.

The Snohomish Health District’s clinics in Everett and Lynnwood are stocked full of vaccine to protect you against the flu. The cost for an adult flu shot at the Snohomish Health District is $30. A flu shot for a child costs $15.

The Health District accepts payment by cash, check, VISA, MasterCard, Provider One (coupons), and Medicare for clients whose primary insurance is not with an HMO. Clients may apply for a reduced fee, based on income and household size.

Snohomish Health District clinic hours – shots by appointment only:

SHD Everett Immunization Clinic, 3020 Rucker Ave, Suite 108, Everett, WA 98201

  • Call 425.339.5220 for an appointment: 8 a.m.- 4 p.m., Mon-Wed-Fri; closed on weekends & holidays

SHD Lynnwood Immunization Clinic, 6101 200th Ave SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036

  • Call 425.775.3522 for an appointment: 8 a.m.- 4 p.m., Tue & Thu; closed on weekends & holidays
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How to protect yourself from the flu – Tips from Healthfinder.gov

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Flu virus - courtesy of NAIAD

Flu virus – courtesy of NAIAD

The Basics

Everyone age 6 months and older needs to get a flu shot (vaccine) every year. The seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu.

For many people, the seasonal flu is a mild illness. But for some people, the flu can lead to:

  • Serious infections like pneumonia (“noo-MOHN-yah”)
  • Hospitalization
  • Death

The flu spreads easily from person to person. When you get the flu shot, you don’t just protect yourself – you also protect everyone around you.

What is the flu?
The flu is caused by a virus that infects your nose, throat, and lungs. It’s easily spread from person to person.

Symptoms of the flu include:

  • High fever
  • Headache
  • Tiredness
  • Cough
  • Sore throat
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Muscle aches

Am I at high risk for complications from the flu?
For some people, the flu is more likely to lead to serious illness. If you are at high risk from the flu, get a flu shot as early as you can each year.

Groups at high risk from the flu include:

If you spend time with someone at high risk from the flu, you can protect both of you by getting a flu shot.

When do I need to get the seasonal flu shot?
Get the flu shot as soon as it’s available in your community each year. After you get the vaccine, your body takes about 2 weeks to develop protection against the flu. That’s why it’s a good idea to get the vaccine before flu season starts.

Flu season is different from year to year. It can start as early as October and last as late as May.

Can I get the nasal (nose) spray instead of the shot?
The flu vaccine can be given in a nasal spray or a shot. You may get the nasal spray if you:

  • Are between ages 2 and 49
  • Aren’t pregnant
  • Don’t have certain health conditions, like asthma or diabetes

Are there any side effects from the seasonal flu vaccine?
Some people may have mild side effects. These side effects begin soon after the vaccine is given and usually last 1 to 2 days. Most people don’t have any side effects after getting the flu vaccine.

Flu shot
People who get the flu shot sometimes feel sore where they got the shot. You can’t get the flu from the flu shot because it’s made from killed flu viruses.

Flu nasal spray
People who get the nasal spray may have a stuffy nose or headache afterward. The flu viruses in the nasal spray are weakened and can’t cause the flu.

Take Action!

You can get a flu shot at your doctor’s office or clinic. You may also be able to get a flu shot from your local health department, pharmacy, or employer.

Find a flu clinic near you.
Use this flu clinic locator  to find out where you can get a flu shot near you.

What about cost?
The seasonal flu vaccine is covered under the Affordable Care Act, the health care reform law passed in 2010. Depending on your insurance plan, you may be able to get the flu vaccine at no cost to you.

Check with your insurance provider to find out what’s included in your plan. For information about other services covered by the Affordable Care Act, visit HealthCare.gov.

If you have Medicare Part B, your flu shot is free.

Fight the flu.
Getting the flu vaccine is the most important step in protecting yourself from the flu. Here are some other things you can do to keep from getting and spreading the flu:

  • Stay away from people who are sick with the flu.
  • If you are sick, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water aren’t available, use an alcohol-based hand rub (hand sanitizer).
  • Try not to touch your nose, mouth, or eyes.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
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Public Health – Seattle & King County offers free flu shot clinics – Saturday, Nov. 2nd

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Flu virus - courtesy of NAIAD

Public Health – Seattle & King County is offering free flu vaccination clinics on Saturday, November 2 to make flu vaccine more widely available to people without health insurance or who are unable to pay.

“Flu vaccine offers the single best protection against the flu,” said Dr. Jeff Duchin, Chief of Communicable Disease Epidemiology & Immunization for Public Health – Seattle & King County. “Getting vaccinated is especially important for pregnant women, people in contact with infants who are too young to vaccinate, and also to people with health conditions that put them at greater risk for severe illness and hospitalization.”

Health experts recommend flu vaccine for all people six months and older, especially for pregnant women and people who have long-term health problems, like diabetes, asthma, and heart or lung problems.

Anyone who lives with or cares for an infant younger than six months should also get vaccinated to protect the infant from getting flu.

Where to get free vaccine

The free flu vaccination clinics will be held at Public Health Centers at the following locations on Saturday, November 2 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.:

Columbia Public Health Center

4400 37th Ave S, Seattle, 206-296-4650

Eastgate Public Health Center

14350 SE Eastgate Way, Bellevue, 206-296-4920

Federal Way Public Health Center

33431 13th Place S, Federal Way, 206-296-8410

Renton Public Health Center

3001 NE 4th St., Renton, 206-296-4700

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Federal shutdown alarms state health officials

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Photo: James Gathany/CDC

Photo: James Gathany/CDC

By Melissa Maynard
StatelineStaff Writer

This week more than 11,000 U.S. Muslims are expected to join millions of other pilgrims in Mecca for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. When the Americans return home, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state and local health departments will be watching for any sign of the MERS virus that has caused severe acute respiratory illness in 140 people since 2012, killing about half of them.

But because of the shutdown of the federal government, about 9,000 of the CDC’s 15,000 workers have been furloughed. James Blumenstock, chief of public health practice for the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, said states are concerned that the absence of those workers might slow down identification and response to MERS cases if the virus spreads to the U.S.

Since the shutdown, the CDC’s bi-weekly conference calls with state health officials to share new information about MERS and other emerging global threats have stopped, Blumenstock said. “Since Oct. 1, we have not scheduled one or had the opportunity to talk to anyone about scheduling the next one.”

MERS is just one of many possible public health risks state health officials are worried about handling without the full support of the CDC and other federal agencies. Another big one within U.S. borders is the flu season that began Oct. 1.

In a Wednesday conference call with state health officials from across the country, CDC Director Tom Frieden assured states that the agency would be available to assist in emergency situations, but acknowledged that its response might be slower because of the shutdown.

“We have been told that that if we needed support for a large-scale event, it would require pulling staff back in, and that the response time could be delayed,” said Wendy Braund, Wyoming’s state health officer. “That is a very real concern to us.”

CDC in the States

States rely on the CDC to step in when outbreaks cross state lines and for technical support and lab testing when unusual situations arise. The federal agency also helps fund and staff a range of programs, embedding its own experts in state health agencies to help with a range of programs from immunizations to AIDS prevention. Many of these people have been furloughed.

Also, certain public health functions rely heavily on federal grants, which will become more critical if the shutdown continues. Hawaii State Epidemiologist Sarah Park was handling multiple investigations when she learned that her work may be interrupted because her division gets 90 percent of its money from the federal government.

“Basically, toward the end of last week, it was realized that … the state had only sufficient federal funds drawn down to make the Oct 5th payroll,” she said in an email.

“If the federal shutdown doesn’t resolve soon,” she said, “we could be facing a major crisis whether because staff have to be laid off and/or because we aren’t able to place vaccine orders or have them completed because the federal system is down.”

CDC officials acknowledged the challenges the shutdown has created for its partners at the state level. “We’re actually really concerned about what is happening with the states, and down the road if this continues,” said John O’Connor of the CDC’s National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases.

Emergency Response

The CDC can call back employees to respond to emergencies, according to Barbara Reynolds, a CDC crisis communication specialist. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday issued a public health alert for an outbreak of an antibiotic-resistant strain of salmonella linked to chicken produced by Foster Farms in California.

The outbreak has sickened 278 consumers in 17 states. In response, the CDC called back two-thirds of the 30-person team that tracks foodborne illnesses. It has updated its website with details of its ongoing investigation into the outbreak, including a map detailing cases by state.

Still, Reynolds acknowledged it’s not the same as when the CDC is fully functioning. “We have 9,000 people from CDC furloughed, which means 9,000 fewer people to answer the phones and take phone calls from people in state agencies,” she  said. “Some of that collaboration is just gone right now.”

In Oregon, eight salmonella cases have been linked to the outbreak. Katrina Hedberg, the state’s chief epidemiologist and health officer, said the CDC’s national databases connected the salmonella strain to Foster Farms based on evidence from cases in other states. “Looking at our Oregon cases, it wouldn’t be obvious that they were linked,” she said.

But the state received less information than it would have from a fully functioning CDC. “Normally we’d be hearing about this before, and we’d be having conference calls beforehand,” she said. Instead, Hedberg said the general public learned about the outbreak only shortly after she and her staff did – and from the USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service rather than the CDC.

Flu Season

One of the most significant looming public health threats is the flu. State health officials are concerned about how the shutdown will affect their ability to fight its spread, since they rely on the CDC to track and monitor cases to better prepare their public health response.

Michael Cooper, Alaska’s deputy state epidemiologist, said his department has received “a flurry of emails about how CDC influenza monitoring and surveillance staff would be at minimal levels and online applications might not be functional for recording data that demonstrates national/state activity related to influenza.”

Blumenstock, of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, said there are critical flu-related functions the CDC cannot currently perform because of the shutdown.

For example, at this point in the season, the CDC typically tests early flu strains to see how well they match with the seasonal vaccine. That information gives public health officials important clues about what to expect from flu season and how to adjust their strategies.

The CDC also conducts an annual public awareness campaign, tests early cases of the flu to determine resistance to antivirals and provides regular surveillance information to states.

Much of that assistance simply isn’t happening, Blumenstock said. “Depending on how bad flu season turns out to be, that could provide increased risk of illness or death if CDC doesn’t get back in business.”

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Stateline is a nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Center on the States that provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy.

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Time to get flu vaccine is now, say state health officials

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Flu virus - courtesy of NAIAD

Flu virus – courtesy of NAIAD

From the Washington State Department of Health

Flu season is almost here and the time is now to get vaccinated to protect yourself, your family, and your community from the flu, says the Washington State Department of Health.

“Flu seasons are unpredictable, so it’s important to get your flu vaccine as soon as it’s available, before people start getting sick,” says State Health Officer Dr. Maxine Hayes. “Getting flu vaccine now will provide protection throughout the season. It’s not too early.”

Yearly flu vaccination is recommended for everyone age six months and older. It’s especially important for young kids; pregnant women; people 65 and older; caregivers; and people with medical conditions, like asthma, diabetes, heart disease, and neurological conditions.

Vaccine is already available from many health care providers, including pharmacies, and there are more vaccine options this year than ever before.

The vaccine is available as a flu shot or nasal spray. Some vaccines will protect against four different strains of flu virus; there’s an egg-free version for those with allergies; and a vaccine that uses a smaller needle than the typical flu shot. Ask your health care professional which vaccine is best for you and your family.

The Healthy People 2020 goal for flu vaccination coverage is 80 percent or higher. Only about 47 percent of people in Washington were vaccinated against flu last season so there’s work to be done. Communities are better protected from flu if vaccination rates are higher.

The state health department bought more than 754,000 doses of flu vaccine for kids through age 18. Kids can get the vaccine from their regular health care providers. Kids under nine years old may need two doses for the best protection.

Health professionals may charge an office visit fee and an administration fee to give the vaccine. People who can’t afford the administration fee can ask to have it waived.

For adults, many health plans cover flu vaccines. To find a health care provider or immunization clinic, use the flu vaccine locator, contact your local health agency, or the Family Health Hotline at 1-800-322-2588. Information about flu and flu vaccine is available on the Department of Health website.

This year, the Department of Health is using a video that features real families reminding people to get a yearly flu vaccine. The video also features the Secretary of Health, John Weisman.  It’s on the agency’s flu resource page.

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Tips for a less stressful shot visit – CDC

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child wincing while be given a shot injection

Making the choice to vaccinate your child is vital for their health and well-being. Even so, getting shots can still be stressful for you and your little one. Fortunately, there are simple ways you can support your child before, during, and after shots.

Before Getting Shots

Come prepared! Take these steps before your child gets a shot to help make the immunization visit less stressful on you both.

Help children see vaccines as a good thing. Never threaten your child with shots, by saying “If you misbehave I will have the nurse give you a shot.” Instead, remind children that vaccines can keep them healthy.


Ways to soothe your baby:

  • Swaddling
  • Skin-to-skin contact
  • Offering a sweet beverage, like juice (when the child is older than 6 months)
  • Breastfeeding

Your health care professional may cool or numb the injection site to reduce the pain associated with your child’s shots.

  • Read any vaccine materials you received from your child’s health care professional and write down any questions you may have.
  • Find your child’s personal immunization record and bring it to your appointment. An up-to-date record tells your doctor exactly what shots your child has already received.
  • Pack a favorite toy or book, and a blanket that your child uses regularly to comfort your child.

For older children

  • Be honest with your child. Explain that shots can pinch or sting, but that it won’t hurt for long.
  • Engage other family members, especially older siblings, to support your child.
  • Avoid telling scary stories or making threats about shots.

At the Doctor’s Office

If you have questions about immunizations, ask your child’s doctor or nurse. Before you leave the appointment, ask your child’s doctor for advice on using non-aspirin pain reliever and other steps you can take at home to comfort your child.

Try these ideas for making the shots easier on your child.

  • Distract and comfort your child by cuddling, singing, or talking softly.
  • Smile and make eye contact with your child. Let your child know that everything is ok.
  • Comfort your child with a favorite toy or book. A blanket that smells familiar will help your child feel more comfortable.
  • Hold your child firmly on your lap, whenever possible.

For older children

Remember to schedule your next visit! Staying current with your child’s immunizations provides the best protection against disease.

  • Take deep breaths with your child to help “blow out” the pain.
  • Point out interesting things in the room to help create distractions.
  • Tell or read stories.
  • Support your child if he or she cries. Never scold a child for not “being brave.”

Once your child has received all of the shots, be especially supportive. Hold, cuddle, and, for infants, breastfeed or offer a bottle. A soothing voice, combined with praise and hugs will help reassure your child that everything is ok.

Take a moment to read the Vaccine Information Sheet your health care professional gives you during your visit. This sheet has helpful information and describes possible side effects your child may experience.

After the Shots

Sometimes children experience mild reactions from vaccines, such as pain at the injection site, a rash or a fever. These reactions are normal and will soon go away. The following tips will help you identify and minimize mild side effects.

  • Review any information your doctor gives you about the shots, especially the Vaccine Information Statements or other sheets that outline which side effects might be expected.
  • Use a cool, wet cloth to reduce redness, soreness, and swelling in the place where the shot was given.
  • Reduce any fever with a cool sponge bath. If your doctor approves, give non-aspirin pain reliever.
  • Give your child lots of liquid. It’s normal for some children to eat less during the 24 hours after getting vaccines.
  • Pay extra attention to your child for a few days. If you see something that concerns you, call your doctor.
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Snohomish parents get a B+ for kids’ back-to-school shots

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child wincing while be given a shot injectionFrom Snohomish Health District 

More 5 and 6 year olds in Snohomish County had all the vaccines they needed to enter school last year, according to recent data released by the state Department of Health.

For the 2012-2013 school year, 86.3 percent of local kindergarteners were up to date on their shots, better than past years and higher than the state average of 85.6 percent

Vaccines are required for school children because they prevent disease in a community setting. The rate of vaccination has continued to climb since an all-time low in 2008-2009.

School districts report vaccination rates to the state. The highest immunization rates for all grades (K-12) in Snohomish County last school year were in Lakewood (94.8%) and Everett (94.7%) school districts.

A small percentage of families seek exemption from the vaccination requirement, an average of 5.3 percent in Snohomish County schools compared to 4.5 percent statewide for children entering kindergarten.

In 2011 the process for parents or guardians to exempt their child from school or child care immunization requirements was changed.

Parents need to see a medical provider to get a signature on the Certificate of Exemption form for their child’s school. 

More information about the form and the law is available online at www.doh.wa.gov/cfh/Immunize.

Although exemptions are allowed for medical, religious, or personal reasons, the best disease protection is to make sure children have all their recommended immunizations.

Children may be sent home from school, preschool, or child care during outbreaks of diseases if they have not been immunized.

Summer is a good time to make sure your children are up to date on required shots. The cost of childhood vaccines is subsidized by federal and state government so that every parent can choose to have their child protected without regard to cost.

Required childhood vaccines are available for the school year 2013-2014.

 Two doses of chickenpox (varicella) vaccine or doctor-verified history of disease is required for age kindergarten through grade 5. Students in grade 6 are required to have one dose of varicella or parental history of disease.

 The whooping cough (pertussis) vaccine, Tdap, is required for students in grades 6-12 who are 11 years and older.

Recommended vaccines also are available.

 Varicella vaccine for children in grades 7-12 who have never had chickenpox.

 Meningococcavaccine for adolescents age 11-12. A second (booster) dose at age 16-18 if first dose was given at ages 11-15.

 A three-shot series of human papillomavirus (HPV) for both adolescent boys and girls age 11 and older.

 Children 12 months and older should receive hepatitis A vaccine, a two-shot series.

 Flu vaccine for all people age 6 months and older.

Snohomish Health District promotes routine vaccination of children and adults.

Snohomish Health District’s Immunization Clinic will serve you if your family does not have a health care provider. A visit to a Health District clinic includes a check of your child’s record in the Washington Immunization Information System, the state’s immunization registry.

Parents should beat the rush by making appointments now with their child’s health care provider. At the Health District, parents can make an appointment during normal clinic hours at either the Lynnwood or Everett office.

A parent or legal guardian must accompany a child to the clinic, and must bring a complete record of the child’s immunizations. 

You need to fill out a Snohomish Health District authorization form to have another person bring your child to the clinic. Ask the clinic staff to mail or fax a form to you.

Health District clinics request payment on the day of service in cash, check, debit, or credit card. Medical coupons are accepted, but private insurance is not.

The cost can include an office visit fee, plus an administration fee per vaccine. Reduced fees are available by filling out a request based on household size and income.

Teens also occasionally require travel vaccines for out-of-country mission work or community service. The Health District offers those immunizations and health advice for traveling in foreign countries.

Please call if you have questions, concerns or to schedule an appointment: SHD Immunization Clinic 425.339.5220.

Back-to-school shots hours:

SHD Everett Immunization Clinic, 3020 Rucker Ave, Suite 108, Everett, WA 98201

425.339.5220

By appointment: 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Monday-Wednesday-Friday

SHD Lynnwood Immunization Clinic, 6101 200th Ave SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036

425.775.3522

By appointment: 8 a.m.-noon and 1-4 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday

NOTE: Both clinics will be closed on weekends and on Labor Day, Sept. 2.

 

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What impact have vaccines had on health? – Infographic

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Leon Farrant, a graphic design student at Purchase College, used data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to create a striking infographic showing the impact vaccines have had on health in the U.S.

PrintCreative Commons Licence.

To see more of Farrant’s work go to: To see more of his work go to: www.behance.net/leon_farrant

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