By Dr. Michelle L. Miller, M.D.
Read the storyIn November 2015, Florida was in the grip of one of the most expensive flu pandemics in US history.
In an effort to combat the virus, state and federal governments announced a state-wide “Flu Season.”
Many people took advantage of the opportunity, opting to fly into the state from around the country.
But that was not the only thing they did.
Some chose to spend more time in the Sunshine State than their usual destination, taking advantage of holiday break opportunities and taking advantage a statewide flu vaccine.
The flu season in Florida has been plagued by poor planning and scheduling, so why is this so?
Dr. Melissa Ritter is the president and CEO of Travelers Choice, a travel and tourism consulting firm.
She explained that while the flu season is a very stressful time for many, people take advantage of it because it is one of those “happy, easy times.”
“There are times when it’s easier to get to a destination than it is to do a vacation,” she explained.
“There’s a certain sense of security that comes with the fact that you’re traveling, but there are also a number of challenges.”
The flu vaccine in Florida is one such challenge.
In fact, Florida’s flu vaccination program is so costly that people are now being forced to travel long distances for the vaccine.
Dr. Ritter says it’s important for those in the flu vaccination pipeline to understand that the flu vaccine is more than just a quick shot to reduce your risk of getting the flu.
“If you’re trying to get your flu shot, you want to get it in the last week of October, or in the first week of November, or sometime before Christmas, and not in the middle of December,” she said.
“This is not the time to rush.
You’re still at risk for getting sick and having flu.
You have to take the shot.”
Dr. Lina K. Kwon is a medical doctor who has been in the Florida flu vaccine program for 20 years.
She explained that the vaccine has been one of her favorite vaccines for a variety of reasons, but she also pointed out that the process is very labor intensive and expensive.
“We can make sure that every person in the state of Florida gets the flu shot in about four weeks.
So you can be vaccinated right before Christmas and get the flu in the second week of February,” she added.”
It’s a very important part of the process because it allows you to make sure you’re getting vaccinated in the right time.”
According to Dr. Kwan, the flu shots are not cheap.
She added that there are two main options when choosing to go to Florida: the Florida Health Plan or the Florida Medical Center.
“The Florida Medical Program has been great for me, and they’ve been very helpful,” she noted.
“But you’re also paying the price of being able to get the vaccine, so if you’re doing a vacation, then you have to consider Florida because they’re so much more affordable than the Florida health plan.”
Dr Kwan said she would recommend going to Florida for your flu vaccination as soon as possible, but if you are a recent addition to the flu vaccinations program, then the flu can start to kick in.
“You’ll be fine.
It’s going to take some time, but I think people are going to get over it, and the flu is going to subside,” she told Medical News Now.
“I would say you should start taking the flu vaccines as soon you are in Florida, and it should be no more than a few weeks.”
Dr Ritter said that if you do decide to go ahead and travel, make sure to make a plan ahead of time.
“Make sure you have a vacation plan,” she advised.
“Make sure your family members are healthy and have the flu immunity.
Make sure you are getting vaccinated early.””
I’ve had people tell me that they’ll go into the Florida State Fair and take a cruise to Florida because it’s a great time to go and see everything that’s happening there.
And I have no doubt that will be true,” she continued.”
But you need to make the decision about when you’re going to go because you’re at risk.”
Dr Lina has been following Florida flu vaccination and travel plans for the last decade, and she believes that the state’s flu vaccine will be successful.
She said that people should not delay their flu vaccinations.
“As long as you’re taking the influenza vaccine early, then it will work.
You can make it work by going to a doctor and getting tested before you leave,” she stressed.”
So I think it’s really important to make this decision right away, and to get tested before going out to Florida.”