(Media release from Harbin Clinic):

Harbin Clinic is encouraging the community to become antibody builders by practicing healthy habits and getting important vaccines this year. Vaccines create strong immune systems and build essential antibodies to fight off viruses and bacteria. Healthy practices like washing hands frequently, getting adequate sleep and eating nutrient dense foods also bolster the immune system.

Flu Vaccine

Flu vaccines are one of the best defenses against the virus. Potential benefits include reducing symptom severity and protecting others. Vaccines do this by helping the immune system build crucial antibodies to help fend off these viruses. The vaccine also reduces the spread of influenza to others, including more at-risk populations. Harbin Clinic encourages everyone over six months of age and those more vulnerable to get the flu vaccine as soon as possible, especially before the end of October when flu season typically begins. Flu season usually continues through March. 

Some individuals are more susceptible to the flu than others. For these people, contracting the flu could lead to critical complications that can result in pneumonia, hospitalization or even fatalities. Those most vulnerable include:

– Older people

– Pregnant women

– Young children

– Those with underlying or chronic health conditions

Pneumococcal Vaccine

Pneumonia is an infection that inflames one or both lungs and can cause mild to life-threatening illness in people of all ages. It’s most serious in infants and young children, people older than age 65, and people with health problems or weakened immune systems.

Pneumonia can be caused by a variety of bacteria, viruses or fungi found in the air. The most common bacterial pneumonia is pneumococcal pneumonia, caused by strep pneumonia. Those who are at the greatest risk for bacterial pneumonia include people recovering from surgery, those with respiratory disease or viral infection, and people who have weakened immune systems. Some signs and symptoms of pneumonia include cough, fever, shortness of breath, rapid and shallow breathing, sharp or stabbing pain in the chest, nausea and confusion.

For those who fall into a risk group for serious illness, the pneumococcal vaccine is an important step that reduces the chance of experiencing the worst complications from pneumococcal infections including: severe illness, hospitalization and death. For most people, the vaccine is administered only once and lasts their lifetime.

Harbin Clinic recommends vaccinating against pneumonia for children under five years old and adults over 65 years old. There are certain circumstances where older aged children and adults should discuss the pneumococcal vaccine with their doctor. To learn more about who should receive the pneumococcal vaccine, visit www.harbinclinic.com/antibodybuilder

Healthy Habits

To avoid being weighed down by illness, here are some healthy habits that carry more weight than a dumbbell:

– Wash hands frequently.

– Cover the mouth while coughing or sneezing.

– Stay home when feeling sick. 

– Get adequate sleep each night.

– Eat a variety of nutrient dense foods. 

Be an antibody builder this year by scheduling a flu vaccine and talking with a doctor about the pneumococcal vaccine. To find the closest Harbin Clinic flu vaccine location, visit www.harbinclinic.com/antibodybuilder.  To discuss the pneumococcal vaccine with a provider, visit the Harbin Clinic Find a Doctor page to find a primary care medical professional.