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UPDATED 8/7/20

Airline passengers traveling through Chicago may not be able to avoid delays, lost baggage or crying babies, but they can avoid a case of the flu, thanks to a new program being offered in O’Hare International Airport.

According to the Daily Journal, Chicago’s Department of Aviation recently announced that it would be offering flu shots at each of O’Hare’s domestic terminals just in time for the holiday travel season.

The shots will be administered by medical professionals from the University of Illinois at Chicago Clinic, and the Department of Aviation is strongly urging all passengers to get the vaccine, which will help curb the spread of germs throughout the airport.

Passengers of all ages can receive a flu shot at post-security kiosks located in Terminals 1 and 3, as well as the UIC clinic in Terminal 2.

Medicare and most other types of insurance will be accepted for those who wish to get the shot. The vaccines are $30 for travelers and $24 for airport employees, both of which are quite the bargain considering the agony of being sick during the holidays.

According to a 2010 recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), “everyone six months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season.” This is especially true as winter approaches, and airports are breeding grounds for germs if precautionary steps aren’t taken to avoid spreading the flu.

For pregnant women who may have heard rumblings that vaccine shots aren’t safe for those with child, KTIC Rural Radio reports that this couldn’t be further from the truth. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists says that the flu is much more likely to cause severe illness in pregnant women than in those who are not expecting.

Getting the flu while pregnant can result in a host of serious consequences, including miscarriage or a pre-term delivery. The flu vaccine drastically reduces the symptoms and severity of the illness in all women, but it is especially beneficial to those who are pregnant.

In fact, the flu shot is so important that Aviation Department Commissioner Ginger Evans even rolled up her sleeve to get the vaccine. She’s encouraging all travelers and airport employees to follow her lead and help make O’Hare flu-free for the holidays.

However, getting regular flu shots may stir up some questions for those who don’t know any news about the flu vaccine, aren’t familiar with the process, or know what the flu shot does. For example, who can give flu vaccinations? What are the seasonal flu shot side effects? How can I get a flu shot? Does the flu vaccine contain the flu virus? Here are some answers.

In this case, as previously mentioned, medical professionals stationed near terminals can administer the shot for you. You can also get the shot at your doctor’s office and most local pharmacies. The side effects may include a sore arm for a day or so, headache, fever, or other flu-like symptoms. The vaccine does contain the virus, which is how it prepares the body to fight off such an illness. A good flu shot description would be that a small amount of the virus is introduced to the body so that it can create antibodies. This way, your body knows how to fight it should you be introduced again. Consider getting your flu shot today to help keep you safe in the future!

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