Thursday, February 24, 2011

Flu Shot: Doctor, I Did Not Get a Flu Shot, What Can I Do?

At the churches and other social events, many people have asked me about the flu shot. Many are worried. As you have heard, there is a serious shortage of flu shot this year. Why is that? Well, the United State gets a large amount of its flu vaccine from a company stationed in England. This company's license was suspended, some of its vaccine was contaminated. Thus the United State lost 48 million vaccines to contamination at this British manufacturing plant.

What can you do now?

First contact your doctors office to see if they have it. If not, contact the local Meijer's, Farmer Jack, or Costco. Also, the following sources can tell you who is offering the flu shot; Visiting Nurse Association (1-800-882- 5720), fox news (248) 395-8600, WXYZ TV station (248) 827-7777 . Other sources in- cludes, Oakland County Health department flu hot line (1-800-434-3358), Macomb County Health department (586-466-7923), Wayne County Health Department (734-727- 7100) . Expect to wait long hours if you go to the places that offer the shot.

Who should get the shot?
  • Senior citizens: 65 years and older
  • Children 6 month - 23 months
  • Adult and children 2 year and older with Chronic diseases such as heart disease, lung disease (Asthma and emphysema), diabetes and other chronic medical problems
  • Healthcare workers who have direct con- tact with patients
  • Pregnant women and those who take care of infants.

Please do not tell your doctor to give you a flu shot if you do not fall in the above category. If you get it, it will be a violation of the rules and it is a misdemeanor.    Also any doctor who gives it to those who do not fall in the recommended category is unethical and is violating the rules. We need to leave the vaccine for those who needs it.

One of the best ways to protect yourself from getting a cold is to get out of your chair. When researchers compared the activity levels and cold rates of 641 people, average age 48, they discovered that the more active people were, the fewer colds they got.

Men who did moderate activity (the equiva- lent of brisk walking) for about 3 hours a day were 35% less likely to get a cold compared to men who did only 1 hour. Women were less active overall, but those who did 90 minutes of activity reduced their risk by 20% compared to women who did half an hour only.

This includes structured exercises as well as all types of moderate to vigorous activity, such as walking, taking the stairs, playing tennis, and doing yard work and housework.
Here are some examples of moderate to vigor- ous activities to keep you moving:

  • Raking leaves
  • Climbing stairs
  • Playing tennis
  • Sweeping
  • Dancing
  • Playing tag
  • Hiking
  • Gardening
  • Chopping firewood
  • Bicycling
  • Walking Swimming
  • Bicycling
  • Skiing

Other tips for preventing cold/flu
  • Frequently disinfect surfaces in your home and office-especially things like phones and doorknobs that many people touch
  • Avoid people with the flu
  • Wash hands frequently using soap and hot water, for at least 15 seconds
  • Rest at least 6 to 8 hours each night
  • No smoking
  • Drinking enough fluids (1-2 quarts daily, especially water)
  • Eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, while avoiding sugar, fructose and simple carbs
  • Take vitamins and supplements that will help boost immune function

What to do when you do get a cold/flu
  • Stay home and rest, especially while you have a fever
  • Drink plenty of fluids like water, fruit juices and clear soups
  • Fluids help loosen mu- cus
  • Fluids are also important if you have a fever because fever can dry up your body's fluids, which can lead to dehydra- tion.
  • Don't drink alcohol. Stop smoking and avoid secondhand smoke, which can make cold symptoms worse
  • Gargle with warm salt water a few times a day to relieve a sore throat. Throat sprays or lozenges may also help relieve the pain
  • Use saline (salt water) nose drops to help loosen mucus and moisten the tender skin in your nose.
    Stay comfortable
  • Treat the symptoms that bother you most with over-the-counter medicines
  • A humidifier may help ease your conges- tion and throat discomfort
  • To avoid spreading the illness, try to stay away from others if you can, especially children and the elderly-and wash your hands frequently.