Arm Yourself and Your Family for the 2011-2012 Cold, Cough and Flu Season

Get vaccinated against the flu to protect yourself and everyone aroundAs the 2011-2012 cold, cough and flu season nears, it is extremely important to take the necessary precautions to ensure your family stays healthy this year. Flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. The flu can be a miserable situation for anybody, but for some of us, it can be a life threatening situation. The flu can also make chronic health problems worse. For example, flu can trigger more severe asthma attacks and the worsening of congestive heart failure symptoms in patients that suffer from these diseases.

Flu can cause mild to severe illness and, if left untreated, can even lead to death. Some people, especially the elderly, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. But there’s a way to fight back and add a protective measure for you and your family. Getting the vaccine as soon as it is available will provide advanced protection from the early onset of flu season.

The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year. RediClinic is making it as convenient as possible for folks to protect themselves against this year’s strains of influenza by offering flu vaccines on a walk-in basis, nights and weekends, seven days a week.

Getting your flu vaccine as soon as possible is the first line of defense

Last year, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommended the seasonal flu vaccine as soon as it becomes available for all men, women (including those who were pregnant) and children older than six months. The CDC continues to recommend these guidelines for the 2011-2012 flu season.

This year’s flu vaccine is identical to the vaccine administered last year and will protect against the 2009 H1N1 virus, as well as two other influenza viruses. RediClinic reminds us that the vaccine is most effective if administered prior to the first flu outbreak. And while the region’s record heat wave may lull us into thinking flu season is far away, in reality it’s just around the corner.

RediClinics offer two vaccine options for patients to choose from, including the FluMist®, a needle-free, nasal spray flu vaccine, as well as the traditional injectable vaccine.

The traditional injectable flu vaccine, or the “flu shot,” is given by injection into the muscle, usually the arm, and is currently available at all RediClinic locations for patients four years of age and older. FluMist is approved for children and adults 2-49 years of age. A RediClinic clinician can administer the vaccine with a gentle, quick spray in each nostril — one of the places where the flu virus enters the body.

In addition, since RediClinic recommends that patients take a comprehensive approach to seasonal illness prevention, flu vaccinations should be the first line of defense. Additionally, the CDC recommends the pneumococcal conjugate (pneumonia) vaccine for patients who are older than 65 years of age and for persons who are two years and older and at an increased risk for disease, such as sickle cell disease or other immunocompromising conditions. It is also recommended for use in adults 19 through 64 years of age who smoke cigarettes or who have asthma. Other basic precautions include frequent hand washing and maintaining access to the most up-to-date information.

Flu vaccines, diagnostic tests and treatment for many acute conditions are only a few of the many services offered at your local RediClinic. The clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners and physician assistants who work with local physicians to diagnose, treat and prescribe medications for common conditions such as earaches, strep throat and upper respiratory infections. They also administer a wide range of preventive services, including health screenings, vaccinations, basic physical exams and recently, the addition of a weight management program.

RediClinic is open seven days a week, and no appointments are necessary. For more information, visit


For Media Information:
Jeff Thompson