New York State is currently experiencing the worst flu outbreak in several years, prompting New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to declare a public health emergency and urging people who have not yet been vaccinated to do so as soon as possible. Lifetime Health Medical Group has responded to the need for vaccinations by adding several flu vaccine sessions that are open to both its patients and the community.
“Being vaccinated decreases the likelihood of getting the flu, and also of getting severe illness or complications if you should contract it,” says Mark Perry, M.D., chief medical officer (CMO) of Lifetime Health Medical Group. “With the high rate of flu cases this season, it is more important than ever for those who can receive the vaccine to do so to protect themselves and others.”
“Following the Governor’s announcement, we saw an increase in patient requests for the flu shot. As a result, Lifetime has scheduled a number of sessions in both our primary care offices and Lifetime Health’s pharmacies to better meet the needs of our patients and members of our community,” says Jason Smith, Pharm.D., R.Ph. and director of pharmacy services with Lifetime Health Medical Group.
Flu is more severe than a cold and comes on more rapidly. While it typically lasts a few days, it can go on for two weeks, barring complications such as pneumonia or other respiratory ailment.
Those at greatest risk of complications from flu include:
• People with underlying lung conditions such as asthma or emphysema
• People over the age of 65
• Children under the age of six months who are not able to be vaccinated yet
• Pregnant women are also at risk of contracting complications if they get the flu.
The flu shot is safe and effective. Side effects of being vaccinated could include a sore shoulder and a low-grade fever. It is not possible to contract the flu from the flu vaccine. If you have not received the annual vaccine and are uncertain as to whether you should, please contact your physician.
The calendar of flu vaccine sessions at Lifetime Health Medical Group offices and pharmacies, as well as additional flu information is available online at www.lifetimehealth.org
Lifetime Health Medical Group provides primary medical care for more than 80,000 patients
in Buffalo and Rochester. In Buffalo, Lifetime Health Medical Group operates four sites including: Amherst Health Center (1185 Sweet Home Rd), Hamburg Health Center (151 Elmview Ave), William E. Mosher Health Center (899 Main Street, Buffalo), and West Seneca Health Center (120 Gardenville Parkway West). A variety of services are offered at each practice and most include pharmacy, laboratory,