‘Get vaccinated against flu this season’
As the CNMI enters flu season, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corp. urges all CNMI residents 6 months and older to get their annual flu vaccine for the 2022-23 season, especially people at higher risk such as pregnant women, children, elderly, and individuals with underlying conditions.
Influenza (flu) is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and even death in rare cases. Every flu season is different, and flu affects people differently. Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from flu.
Flu vaccines are safe. Hundreds of millions of Americans have safely received flu vaccines over the past 50 years, and there has been extensive research supporting the safety of flu vaccines. Common side effects from the flu shot include soreness, redness, and/or swelling from the shot; headache, fever, nausea, and muscle aches.
Request a flu shot during a clinic visit at the following medical providers:
• CHCC Children’s Clinic, Women’s Clinic, Family Care Clinic, call (670) 234-8951
• Medical Associates of the Pacific, call (670) 323-9000
• Marianas Medical Center, call (670) 234-3926
• Kagman Isla Community Health Center, call (670) 256-5242
• Tinian Health Center, call (670) 433-9233
• Tinian Isla Health Center, call (670) 433-4750
• Rota Health Center, call (670) 532-9461
Flu shots are also available by walk-ins to the CHCC Immunization Clinic, located at the lower level of the CHCC. Community members can call (670) 236-8745 for more information regarding vaccinations available at the CHCC Immunization Clinic.
All pregnant women should get a flu shot, regardless of their trimester of pregnancy. Getting vaccinated during pregnancy also can help protect a baby from flu during the first several months after birth (the pregnant parent passes antibodies on to the developing baby during pregnancy).
Each season, the seasonal flu vaccine is updated to better match the flu viruses that are expected to be most common during that flu season. Flu season typically starts in September of one year and ends the following spring, usually around late March. If you have gotten the flu shot before June 2022, you need another flu shot for this new flu season.
Other preventative steps to stop the spread of flu include:
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• If you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
• Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand rub.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth to help stop the spread of germs.
• Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with viruses that cause flu.
People with severe, life-threatening allergies to any ingredient in a flu vaccine (other than egg proteins) should not get that vaccine. This might include gelatin, antibiotics, or other ingredients. People who have had a severe allergic reaction to a dose of influenza vaccine should not get that flu vaccine again and might not be able to receive other influenza vaccines. If you have had a severe allergic reaction to an influenza vaccine in the past, it is important to talk with your health care provider to help determine whether vaccination is appropriate for you.
If you have any questions regarding flu vaccination, including where to get one, contact the CHCC Immunization Program at (670) 236-8745.
For more information, follow @cnmichcc on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; visit https://www.chcc.health; or call (670) 234-8950.
This health advisory may be found online at https://www.chcc.health/pressrelease.php. (PR)