Preventing the Flu After Vaccination

Preventing the Flu After Vaccination
Monday was the first day of fall — at least that’s what the calendar said. In Texas, it was a record-breaking 100 degrees. One thing that’s not going to wait for cooler temperatures to arrive is influenza, or the flu. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no set time period defines flu season. However, flu activity begins to increase in October, and peaks from December to February. The CDC recommends that people get vaccinated before the end of October to give flu-protecting antibodies time to develop. A flu shot is crucial for people at high risk of serious complications, including death, from the virus. This includes inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients, who may have weakened immune systems caused by medications such as prednisone and biologics. A recent study by Penn State Hershey Medical Center found that IBD patients "had an increased risk of influenza compared with those without IBD and were more likely to require hospitalization.” I try to get my flu shot as soon as it becomes available. I was vaccinated at a flu shot clinic earlier this month rather than waiting for my annual physical at the end of October. During the 2018-2019 flu season, the flu vaccine was only
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