6 Things to Know About Flu Shots
Cold weather is right around the corner, which means the flu bug is not far behind. Here are answers to some of the most asked questions (The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Pediatrics).
Who should get the flu vaccine? The flu shot should be given to everyone six months and older. Vaccination is essential for people prone to severe or deadly flu complications, including young children, pregnant women, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions like heart disease, diabetes, and asthma.
When should you get the vaccine? You should take the flu shot as soon as it becomes available, preferably by the end of October. It takes approximately two weeks for antibodies that protect against flu to develop in the body. However, getting a shot later can still be beneficial, even into January or later.
Can the flu vaccine give you the flu? The flu shot doesn’t cause flu. The vaccine is not a live virus, meaning the flu viruses have been killed or cannot replicate in humans.
Are there side effects of the flu vaccine? Some people do experience side effects. The most common is discomfort at the injection site, low-grade fever, and achiness. You may feel yucky for a day or two, but it is not the flu.
Is the flu shot effective? The vaccine may not be effective 100% of the time, but studies show it can reduce the chance of contracting the flu by 90%.
I got the flu shot. Can I do anything else to prevent the flu? Yes! Take steps to prevent the spread of germs and viruses by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Stay away from people who are sick. Wash your hands often with soap and water.
A seasonal flu shot is the best way to protect against the flu. Contact your primary care provider to learn more.
Nathan Murray, PA-C
Marlow Family Care