Preventing the flu


a nurse giving a flu shot 

Your care team at Dana-Farber wants to do everything possible to limit your exposure to infection during cold and flu season, which begins in early fall and lasts until spring.

People with certain chronic health conditions, including cancer, have a higher risk of becoming ill with the flu. A flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu. Your care team recommends protecting yourself with a flu shot, available to patients at Dana-Farber.

Where and when to get a flu shot

If you have an appointment for infusion, you may receive the vaccine from your infusion nurse during treatment.

If you have an exam or clinic appointment, ask your provider about receiving the vaccine.

Vaccinations are available to Dana-Farber patients only.

If you are a satellite center patient, please ask your doctor or nurse about getting a flu shot. 

Pediatric families can schedule their child's flu vaccine in the Jimmy Fund Clinic. 

Your local health center or doctor's office may offer the flu vaccine as well. You may also get a flu shot at other locations in your community, such as boards of health, senior centers, or local drug stores. Please encourage your family members and close friends to get the flu vaccine, as well.

General tips for staying healthy and preventing flu

  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after contact with door handles, shared keyboards, and elevator buttons. You can also use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way.
  • Try to avoid close contact with people who have a contagious illness such as a cold or flu.
  • If you are sick with flu-like illness, stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever is gone except to get medical care. Keep away from others as much as possible to keep from making them sick.
  • If you think you or your child may have the flu, call your primary care doctor or Dana-Farber doctor for advice.

If you are the parent of a pediatric patient, please help your child follow the guidelines above.

Visiting Dana-Farber

  • If you (or your child) have a fever and a cough, sore throat, or runny nose, please stay home.
  • If you must come in, please inform the check-in desk staff that you are ill and need a surgical mask and private room.
  • If a family member or friend who planned to accompany you is feeling ill, please ask him or her to stay home. If your companion must come along, he or she should inform the check-in desk staff and ask for a surgical mask.
  • For daily updates about flu prevention at Dana-Farber, please call our hotline at 617-632-2358 (2FLU).

 
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