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      vaccinesKeep yourself and your family safe this flu season

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      According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza (the seasonal flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times can lead to death. In the United States, approximately 5-20% of the population becomes infected by the flu and more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications each year. Some people, such as the elderly, young children and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for complications. Although the virus is easily transferable, the best and easiest way to prevent the flu is by getting an annual vaccination.1

      Keep your family healthy this flu season with Kmart. We have what you need to help keep the flu at bay including medical gloves & masks, antiseptics, hand sanitizers, anti-viral facial tissue and cleaning wipes. Shop online or in store for the items you need and save using funds from your employer flexible spending account program on approved items. At Kmart Pharmacy, we want to keep you well for less.

      1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/basics.htm.



      How it spreads

      The seasonal flu is spread mainly from person to person through coughing or sneezing. A person may also become infected by touching something with flu viruses on it, then touching his/her mouth or nose.2

      Infection of others may begin the first day a person comes into contact with the virus (before symptoms develop) and up to 5 days after becoming sick. That means you may be able to pass on the flu to someone else before you know you are sick, as well as while you are sick.

      Some people can be infected with flu viruses but have no symptoms. During this time, those persons can still spread the virus to others.

      Symptoms of the flu include:

      • Fever (usually high)
      • Headache
      • Extreme tiredness
      • Dry cough
      • Sore throat
      • Runny or stuffy nose
      • Muscle aches
      • Stomach symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and diarrhea can also occur, but are more common in children than adults

      The single best way to prevent the flu is to get a flu vaccination each year.

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      Preventing the flu

      The Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against influenza. There are many different seasonal flu viruses. Every year, scientists research and create a vaccine that will protect against the three main strains they expect will cause the most illness during the flu season. Although the vaccine cannot protect against all strains of influenza, getting vaccinated can help make symptoms milder if you come in contact with a different flu virus.3

      If you do get the flu, antiviral drugs can make your illness milder and make you feel better faster. These prescription medicines combat influenza by keeping the virus from reproducing in the body and may prevent serious flu complications this could be especially important for people at high risk. Antiviral drugs work best if started soon after getting sick (within 2 days of symptoms).

      In addition, you may take everyday preventive steps (including frequent hand washing) to decrease your chances of getting the flu. If you are sick with the flu, reduce your contact with others and cover your cough to help keep germs from spreading.

      See the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for more information.





















      2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/symptoms.htm.
      3 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/preventing.htm.


       

      Types of vaccinations

      Keep youself and your family healthy this flu season with Kmart Pharmacy Flu Vaccination Clinics. Flu shots are administered in a safe, sterile environment by a trained practitioner and are free for those covered by Medicare Part B.

      The seasonal flu vaccine protects against three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. The 2010-2011 flu vaccine will protect against 2009 H1N1, and two other influenza viruses (an H3N2 virus and an influenza B virus). The viruses in the vaccine change each year based on international surveillance and scientists' estimations about which types and strains of viruses will circulate in a given year. About 2 weeks after vaccination, antibodies that provide protection against influenza virus infection develop in the body.

      There are two flu vaccines offered by Kmart Pharmacy:

      1. 1. The Flu Shot
      2. The flu shot an inactive vaccine (containing killed virus) is given with a needle. The shot is approved for use in people 6 months or older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.


      3. 2. Fluzone High Dose
      4. An inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) specifically developed for persons age 65 and over. Human immune defenses become weaker with age, which places older people at greater risk of severe illness from influenza. Also, aging decreases the body ability to have a good immune response after getting an influenza vaccine. Fluzone High-Dose contains 4 times the amount of antigen (the part of the vaccine that prompts the body to make antibody) contained in regular flu shots. The additional antigen is designed to create a stronger immune response (more antibody) in the person getting the vaccine and therefore better protection against flu.

      About two weeks after you are vaccinated, your body will develop antibodies that protect against influenza viruses. Flu vaccines will not protect against flu-like illness caused by non-influenza viruses.




      The FLU Ends with U. Learn more: www.flu.gov
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      FAQ

      • +Who should get vaccinated?

        On February 24, 2010 vaccine experts voted that everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine each year starting with the 2010-2011 influenza season. CDC's Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted for "universal" flu vaccination in the U.S. to expand protection against the flu to more people. While everyone should get a flu vaccine each flu season, it's especially important that certain people get vaccinated either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for people at high risk for developing flu-related complications.

        In general, anyone who wants to reduce his or her chances of getting the flu can get vaccinated. However, certain people should get vaccinated each year either because they are at high risk of having serious flu-related complications or because they live with or care for high-risk persons including:

        • Children 6 months to 19 years old
        • Pregnant women
        • People 50 years or older
        • People with certain chronic medical conditions
        • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
        • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications from flu, including:
          • Healthcare workers
          • Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
          • Household contacts and out-of-home caregivers of children less than 6 months old (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
      • +Who should NOT be vaccinated?

        Some people should NOT be vaccinated without first consulting a physician. They include:

        • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs
        • People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination in the past
        • People who developed Guillian-Barrsyndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine in the past
        • Children less than 6 months old (influenza vaccine is not approved for use in this age group)
        • People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait until their symptoms lessen to get vaccinated

        If you have questions about whether you should get a flu vaccine, consult your health-care provider.

      • +When should I/my family get vaccinated?

        Yearly seasonal flu vaccinations begin in early September or as soon as the vaccine is available. Timing and duration of influenza seasons vary. While influenza outbreaks can happen as early as October, in most seasons, influenza activity peaks in January or later.

      • +What are complications of the seasonal flu?

        According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections, dehydration and worsening of chronic medical conditions such as congestive heart failure, asthma or diabetes.




      See the Center for Disease Control and Prevention for more information.


       

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