This Flu Season, Take Your Shot

In Hawaii, flu season usually starts in October and peaks in January or February. But, since the flu is always circulating throughout our islands, you can catch it at any time. Last year’s flu seemed to be a particularly strong strain and the state Department of Health (DOH) reported more cases than usual.  

This season, the DOH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) want to remind everyone that the best way to prevent the flu is to get the flu shot. Annual vaccinations are especially encouraged for those who are at high risk, like children younger than 5, adults 65 or older, and anyone with a weakened immune system.

Some people think that getting the flu shot will actually give them the flu but vaccines are made with dead viruses and cannot replicate. The flu shot can cause side effects such as discomfort where the shot was given, low-grade fever, and achiness. These side effects can make you feel under the weather for a day or two, but it’s not nearly as severe as the flu.

To find out where you can get the flu shot, you can:

You can also get a flu shot at an upcoming seniors’ fair, just look for HMSA and Longs. Remember to bring your ID and your HMSA subscriber ID card. 

Honolulu
Hawaii Seniors’ Fair – The Good Life Expo
Neal Blaisedell Exhibition Hall
Friday, September 22 – Sunday, September 24
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Hilo
Akamai Living Fair
Edith Kanakaole Multipurpose Stadium 
Friday, October 20
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Kailua-Kona
Akamai Living Fair
West Hawaii Civic Center
Friday, November 3
9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 

Check out the fall edition of Island Scene magazine, arriving in October, for more on the flu, how to prevent it, and what to do if you think you have it.