MAG encouraging Georgians to get flu vaccine

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The Medical Association of Georgia distributed the following press release on September 23, 2016.

The Medical Association of Georgia (MAG) is encouraging Georgians to get vaccinated for the flu by the end of October.

“It is essential for every patient who is six months or older to get vaccinated for the flu once a year,” says MAG President John S. Harvey, M.D. “And they should ideally discuss their vaccination options with their primary care physician as a part of their overall health maintenance program.”

Dr. Harvey believes that it is important for patients to get vaccinated by the end of October. He explains that, “We are already receiving reports of patients who have flu symptoms, so the physician community is taking the initiative to get ahead of any outbreaks – which is consistent with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recommendations.”  

Dr. Harvey points out that, “Once a patient gets vaccinated, it will normally take several weeks for the antibodies to develop in their body – and up to a month and a half before they reach maximum protection.”

He adds that, “An anti-viral medication is also available for patients who show symptoms of the flu, but the patient needs to begin taking that within the first one or two days of the first signs of symptoms.”

He also stresses that, “Young patients, pregnant patients, the elderly, and the immune-deficient are the most vulnerable patient populations.”

Flu symptoms include high fever, headache, fatigue, dry cough, sore throat, and muscle aches. And Dr. Harvey also cautions that, “While most people recover in a few days, the virus can be deadly and it can lead to pneumonia and other serious complications.”

Finally, Dr. Harvey says that, “When it comes to preventing the flu, the best advice I can offer is to remind everyone to wash their hands on a regular basis.”

Go to www.flu.gov, www.cdc.gov/flu or http://dph.georgia.gov/influenza-what-you-need-know for additional information on the flu and flu vaccines.

Also go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ayV7G1E2xso to watch a ‘Move the Needle’ video that was produced by Sandra Fryhofer, M.D., who is a member of the MAG Foundation’s Georgia Physicians Leadership Academy, to increase vaccination rates in Georgia.     

Click for CDC Influenza Activity Update