Reasons You Should Get the Flu Shot Now
Dr. Jack Cornwell, medical director at CareWell Urgent Care, weighs in on why getting vaccinated is the best way to help keep yourself and your family healthy this season.
Dr. Jack Cornwell
October means that flu season is on its way and even though temperatures have been milder than expected lately, experts say now is the time to get your flu vaccination. It’s impossible to predict when flu season will spike, so the most effective way to protect your family from the virus is to get a flu shot—and get it early.
Get vaccinated early
Seasonal flu activity can start as early as October and November so now is the best time to make sure you’re protected. The flu vaccine takes about two weeks to properly take effect, so getting the shot in the peak of flu season could still leave you susceptible to catching the disease. The sooner you get vaccinated, the more effective it will be for preventing extended flu-like symptoms. This year’s shot is widely available across the nation, including at urgent care centers. With how unpredictable influenza can be, it’s important to get vaccinated now before the virus spreads.
Who is at high-risk?
The CDC recommends that just about everyone above the age of six months old receive an annual flu shot. People with weaker immune systems, like people over the age of 65, are more likely to develop serious complications, like pneumonia, from catching the flu. Pregnant women, children under the age of five, and people with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease are also at a higher risk of developing serious complications.
Since the flu is highly contagious, it’s especially important to get vaccinated if you fall into one of these categories or regularly interact with people in one of these groups. On top of that, symptoms may not begin showing until four days after the virus enters your body, which means you may be able to spread the disease before you even know you have it. Getting a flu shot will not only protect you and your family, but also your coworkers and their loved ones.
Flu Vaccine Myths
There are many misconceptions about the flu vaccine. Make sure you know the facts before you put your health in jeopardy:
The flu shot will give you the flu – The most common misconception about the flu vaccine is that it will make you sick. However, the vaccine is made with dead viruses or no viruses at all, so it can’t infect you. Some individuals have reported catching the flu shortly after they received the vaccine, but since vaccines take a couple of weeks to start working, it is still possible to get sick during that time.
You don’t need to get a new shot ever year – Another major myth is that you don’t need to get the flu shot every year. Each year, the vaccine is designed to protect against the major flu strands predicted for that season so it’s important to get a new shot every year. Plus, your body’s immune protection can decline after several months, so you’ll want to make sure you get a new shot each year for optimal protection.
It’s better to catch the flu than get the vaccine – Symptoms of the flu may look like that of a bad cold, but the flu is a serious disease. The flu can cause serious complications or be fatal, even among healthy people.
It’s not possible to completely prevent the flu, there are a lot of things we can do to minimize the virus’s spread. Getting the flu shot is one of the quickest and easiest ways to reduce your risk of getting sick. The more people that get vaccinated, the less the flu can spread through each community. So, do yourself and your neighbors a favor and stop into your local CareWell Urgent Care center today to help keep everyone a little healthier this season.