Flu Shot or Not?

As flu season starts I noticed that even my grocery store has vaccines available for the Swine flu (H1N1) and the traditional flu.  The vaccine for the flu changes every year, so if you had the vaccine last year– you need it this year.

In terms of the Swine flu — that vaccine is specific for that flu. So if you had the Swine flu vaccine last year, or if you had the swine flu- you don’t to be re-vaccinated against the swine flu, but you DO need this year’s flu vaccine.

(Watch as Dr. Terry Simpson talks one-on-one with Daytime’s Cyndi Edwards about the cold and flu season and how to fight it!)

Who Should Get the Flu Vaccine?

We break it down into those people who cannot afford to get sick — the elderly, people who have transplants, people who work in the health care industry (yes, I’m getting the vaccine), and anyone who’s immune system is compromised.  If you have any questions, check with your physician.

A few simple myths about the flu

Antibiotics don’t help it get better faster.  Patients call me wanting a Z-pack, or some antibiotic because they have the flu.  Antibiotics don’t make the flu go away any sooner. The flu is caused by a virus– and antibiotics are meant for bacteria.

Those surgical masks people wear — most of them won’t protect you against the flu. First, the flu virus is very small, and it can get through that mask.  Second, if you shake someone’s hand, who has the flu – well, that mask didn’t help did it?

Soap and water are the best thing you can use– and the new special soaps, that are alcohol based, do help prevent the spread of  the virus.

So, this year — get the vaccine.  If you don’t and you get the flu, do your co-workers a favor and stay home.  If you cannot afford to stay home with the flu, it’s simple:  Get the Vaccine!

Dr. Terry Simpson About Dr. Terry Simpson
Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. He found he liked people more than petri dishes, and went to medical school. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine. The first surgeon to become certified in Culinary Medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.” For media inquiries, please visit www.terrysimpson.com.

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