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January 25, 2017 06:18 PM

Healthbeat: Immunization Shots

As a mom of three and the director of family and children ministry at Holy Cross, Erica Varcoe doesn't have any extra time in her schedule to deal with sickness.

"Which one of us is going to stay home, which one of us is going to shuffle the other kids everywhere. I am just extra careful about keeping everyone healthy," said Varcoe.

That's why Varcoe made sure her family was vaccinated the second she had the chance.

"End of September. As soon as they were available we went right after school and got them," said Varcoe.

If you've been hesitant to get your shots, Sanford Doctor Keri Orstad says it's not too late.

 "The number of influenza-like illnesses is increasing over the past few weeks so we are actually above last year," said Orstad.

Sanford family practice physician Dr. Keri Orstad says without the nasal spray this year, the number of people coming in to get a flu shot has gone down. She says now is the most important time to get the influenza vaccine.

"You can infect someone even before you realize that you have the flu. You may just be feeling a little bit under the weather and just a little yucky feeling. You may still be infectious. So one little cough and not washing hands well enough and you're spreading that germ everywhere," said Orstad.

Varcoe spends the majority of her day working with children and parents and knows how stressful it can be if a family member gets sick. Of course there's always the chance you could still come down with something even after getting vaccinated, but Varcoe says even if you do get sick it likely won't be as bad.

"Maybe instead of missing two weeks of work you'll only miss a few days of work. Really as soon as I had kids I knew it was my job to keep them healthy and if there's something that's going to help me and give them a little extra protection then absolutely," said Varcoe.

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