If you are an individual with a physical disability associated with chronic immunosuppression, you are at higher risk for catching the “flu”. The “flu” is an abbreviated term for influenza, which is an illness described by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. Many people use this term “flu” interchanged with “cold” but the flu is not the same illness as a common cold. Influenza can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Some people, such as older people, young children, and people with certain health conditions, are at high risk for serious flu complications. The best way to prevent the flu is by getting vaccinated each year The CDC publishes a comprehensive list of groups of people recommended to receive the influenza vaccination, which is administered by shot or nasal spray.
The list is populated based upon up-to-date CDC database information. Vaccine supplies are often limited, which varies from year to year, and the time of year can have an influence on availability. When supplies are limited, health care providers select the patients at higher risk for obtaining influenza for vaccination. For comprehensive information about influenza and the list of individuals who should have priority for vaccination when supplies are limited you may either contact the CDC at 800-CDC-INFO (800-232-4636) TTY: (888) 232-6348 – [email protected] or visit the following web site: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/whoshouldvax.htm
Wolfe is a physiatrist or rehabilitation physician. Rehabilitation physicians are medical doctors who have completed training in the medical specialty of physical medicine and rehabilitation. She is licensed to practice medicine and surgery in Minnesota. She is a Board Certified Independent Medical Examiner (disability medicine expert).