Reno, Nev. (December 16, 2016) – The Washoe County Health Department (WCHD) has reported more than 230 influenza cases in Washoe County last week, and approximately 10 percent of the reported cases being hospitalized. They’re promoting vaccinations and vigilance to keep people from catching the flu this season. And, the usual peak-of-the-season is still six to eight weeks away.
“Our community is facing a particularly tough flu season this year,” said Dr. George Hess of the Washoe County District Board of Health. “We all need to do what we can to avoid getting sick. Getting a flu shot and practicing good hygiene can keep you and those around you safe and healthy this flu season.”
As we look at the dangers of the flu, it’s a good time to be thinking about all of the vaccines we need to stay healthy. The flu vaccine, certainly, but there are a number of others available for adults, including HepA, MMR, Tdaap and Shingles (Herpes Zoster) vaccines.
“We all know how important vaccines are for infants and children, but we tend to forget about protecting ourselves,” said Immunize Nevada Executive Director Heidi Parker. “Every year thousands of adults get sick because they didn’t get vaccines. Some end up in the hospital and some die. It’s critical that people understand what they can do to protect their health.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
The specific vaccines you need as an adult are determined by factors such as your age, job, lifestyle, health conditions, locations of travel, and vaccines you've received in the past. Throughout your adult life, vaccines are recommended to get and maintain protection against:
• Seasonal influenza (flu) (for all adults)
• Pertussis (whooping cough) (for all adults who have not previously received the Tdap vaccine and for women during each pregnancy)
• Tetanus and diphtheria (every 10 years following Tdap vaccine)
• Shingles (for adults 60 years and older)
• Pneumococcal disease (for adults 65 years and older and adults younger than 65 who have specific health conditions)
Other vaccinations you may need include those that protect against human papillomavirus (which can cause certain cancers), meningococcal disease, hepatitis B,hepatitis A, chickenpox, measles, mumps and rubella.
“Everybody is different, so it’s important for all adults to talk to their healthcare provider to find out their specific needs,” Parker explained.
Easy Access to Vaccines
Fortunately, pharmacists can access our vaccine records (with our permission) and they have most vaccines available on-site. Dr. Melissa Shake is the Pharmacy Manager/Immunizations Trainer for Walgreens and she also sits on the board of directors for Immunize Nevada. “It’s very convenient to get your vaccines at the pharmacy, as you don’t have to have an appointment and your pharmacy accepts most insurance cards. In some instances, it’s less expensive since you don’t have to pay for an appointment,” Shake said. “Start with your pharmacist, ask them your questions and get your vaccines. Then they’ll refer you to your doctor if it’s necessary.”
For details about immunization, statistics, logic, flu prevention strategies and vaccination clinics, follow Immunize Nevada on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. Or visit www.influencenevada.org for more information.
Immunize Nevada is widely recognized as Nevada’s trusted resource for immunizations and community health for all ages by fostering education and statewide collaboration. Immunize Nevada’s vision is healthy communities across Nevada protected from vaccine-preventable disease. For more information, visit ImmunizeNevada.org.