National Influenza Vaccination Week

Published: Dec. 4, 2019 at 7:26 AM CST
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What services does Choctaw Nation offer to help fight against the flu?

- In collaboration with Oklahoma State Dept of Health, Choctaw Nation supplies free vaccines for all at no cost and anyone who qualifies.

- That includes schools within the service area have the opportunity for Choctaw Nation Community Health nurses or OSDH nurses to come into the school and offer no charge flu vaccines to all staff and students as well.

- Lastly, there are numerous special events and festivals that no cost flu vaccines are available for all. Examples include- Choctaw Electric Coop annual meeting, BigFoot festival in Honobia, Lumberjax festival in Wright City, Deer Festival in Antlers, Pink Out, Diabetes 5K, Fall Foliage in Talihina.

- This year so far, we have administered more than 18,000 flu shots across North Texas and Southeastern Oklahoma.

We hear a lot of myths surrounding the vaccine, does getting the flu shot give you the flu?

- The number one myth that needs dispelled is that the flu shot cause the flu! It takes roughly 10-14 days to develop antibodies to fully protect you from the flu, so if you were exposed in that time frame you are not fully protected from getting the flu.

The flu seems to creep up earlier every year and the strands seem to become worse. What are the best preventative measures regarding the flu?

- A flu shot early in the season is the best defense.

- It not only helps protect you but also protects others-especially babies younger than 6 months that are not old enough to get immunized against the flu, elderly or immunocompromised family or community members that don't develop as good immunity to the vaccine or persons with an allergy to a component of the vaccine.

- Cover your sneezes and coughs.

- Wash your hands frequently and use hand gel if soap and water isn't available.

- Clean frequently touched surfaces.

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