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Flu Prevention and Vaccine

Seasonal Influenza

  • Flu season in Chicago occurs annually from October-May.
  • Symptoms of the flu include:
    • Fever/chills
    • Cough
    • Sore throat
    • Runny or stuffy nose
    • Muscle or body aches
    • Headaches
    • Fatigue
  • Influenza can affect people of all ages, but some people are at higher risk for serious complications. This includes people 65 years and older, people with certain medication conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease), pregnant women, and young children.
  • Potential complications include pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus and ear infections.
  • Cold vs. Flu: People can sometimes confuse a cold with the flu. Generally speaking, a cold is milder than the flu and doesn't cause complications.

Preventing the Flu

Influenza Vaccinations (Flu Shot)

  • The best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu shot every year. Flu vaccinations are usually delivered to health care facilities in August or early September each year.
  • The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months get vaccinated against the flu.
  • Even if you are not high-risk for serious complications, the people around you may not be. The best way to protect the small children and older adults in your life is to get vaccinated yourself.
  • There are many misconceptions about flu vaccines. The CDC has information about common misconceptions, with links to scientific evidence.
  • Types of Vaccinations: The CDC does not recommend one type of flu vaccine over another. However, some are better suited to certain populations if you have the choice:
    • Trivalent: contains 3 strains of flu
    • Quadrivalent: contains 4 strains of flu
    • High-Dose: approved for those 65 and older
    • Egg-Free
    • Intradermal (under the skin)
    • Flu Nasal Spray: Currently NOT recommended by the CDC

Other Prevention Methods

In addition to getting an annual flu vaccination, the CDC recommends these flu prevention measures:

  • Try to avoid close contact with sick people.
  • While sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care or for other necessities. (Your fever should be gone without the use of a fever-reducing medicine.)
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, if available. If not use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like flu.

Flu Vaccinations at the SXU Health Center

  • The SXU Health Center usually receives flu vaccines from our supplier in late August or early September of each year. We begin vaccinating our patients for the flu as soon as we have the vaccines in stock.
  • We offer many different types of flu vaccinations, including Quadrivalent, High-Dose (for those 65 years and older), pediatric and egg-free. Please call for information.
  • Most insurance plans cover this preventative vaccine at 100% and the Health Center will submit the claim to your carrier on your behalf if you have an in-network plan.
  • If you do not have insurance, are out-of network, or if you would prefer us not to submit the claim to your insurance company, please call for our low self-pay rate.

If you have any questions, please call the Health Center at 773-298-3712.