Healthy Living
Why Flu Shots Are Important

Flu vaccine for the 2014-15 flu season is available at the WESTMED Medical Group offices. Flu activity usually begins to increase in October and November.  Therefore, now is the time to schedule your flu shot to protect yourself and your family against the main flu viruses that will be most common.

You can call your WESTMED primary physician or OB/GYN for an appointment to be immunized.  Call your child’s pediatrician to schedule his/her vaccination.

Why should I/my family get vaccinated now?

Flu outbreaks can happen as early as October and can last through May. “It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against the flu,” says Dr. Richard Morel, WESTMED vice president and associate medical director for internal medicine.

Who should get vaccinated this season?  

Even healthy people can get the flu. Everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine this season. It’s especially important for certain groups to get immunized. They are:

  • People who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu.
  • This includes:
    • People who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease
    • Pregnant women.
    • People 65 years and older.
    • People who live with or care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications.
  • This includes household contacts and caregivers of people with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.


The Nasal Spray Vaccine

The option of the nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use in people two years of age through 49 years of age who aren’t pregnant.  According to the CDC, the nasal spray is more effective for healthy 2-8 year olds than the regular flu shot. Children younger than two years old cannot get the nasal spray vaccine.

What are Symptoms of the Flu?

These can include headache, chills, body aches, runny or stuffy nose, fever, cough, sore throat, and sometimes vomiting and diarrhea. 

How is Flu Treated?

Flu is a virus, so antibiotics will not work. However, antiviral drugs can treat flu illness and need to be prescribed by a doctor.  They can make people feel better and get better sooner and may prevent serious flu complications, like pneumonia, for example, that can lead to hospitalization and even death. They work best when started during the first two days of illness. These drugs can be given to children and pregnant women as well.
For quick reference to WESTMED internists’, pediatricians’ and OB/GYNs’ phone numbers, go to                MORE>>>>

Yes, You Can Even Send a Get a Flu Shot Card to a Loved One
It’s important for those you care about (AND you) to get a flu shot.  The CDC has designed e-card that you can send to loved ones to remind them to get their vaccination.  Go to