Thursday, October 30, 2003
Who needs flu shots?

The Delaware Adult Influenza Vaccine Coalition is encouraging all Delawareans to be the First State to get the flu shot and not the flu. Getting a flu shot does not give you the flu. The vaccine is made with killed virus, so it is highly unlikely that you will get the flu from the vaccine. The flu shot is not 100 percent effective against the flu, so you may get the flu even if you get the shot, but the shot does protect you from developing life-threatening complications. You should consider getting the flu shot if you
  • Are aged 50 and older.
  • Have chronic heart and lung diseases, including children with asthma and kidney diseases.
  • Have diabetes and inherited disorders of hemoglobin.
  • Have an impaired immune system, such as cancer patients.
  • Have persons with HIV infection.
  • Have received an organ transplant.
  • Are receiving steroids, chemotherapy, or radiation therapy.
  • Are a household member of or a person who provides care to persons in high-risk groups.
  • Wish to protect yourself against influenza.
  Persons should first consult with their doctors to get a flu vaccine. Flu shot clinics sponsored by the State Division of Public Health and Christiana Care Health System are also offering the vaccines. For a complete clinic schedule, go to the websites of the American Lung Association of Delaware at or call the Division of Public Health at 1-800-282-8672 to find flu clinics near you. Flu and flu-related pneumonia is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States, accounting for approximately 20,000 deaths each year. The most vulnerable to the flu’s damage are our elderly, our youth, and those with compromised immune systems. A simple flu shot is the best protection against getting the flu.