It’s that time of the year again! Yes, I’m talking about the holiday season. With that, though, comes the flu season too. So, let’s talk about one of the most important things we can do this fall/winter to keep ourselves healthy:
THE FLU SHOT
Now what is this “flu shot”?
An influenza (flu) shot is a flu vaccine given with a needle, usually in the arm. Seasonal flu shots protect against the three or four influenza viruses that research suggests may be most common during the upcoming season.
Who should and who should not get a flu vaccine?
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exception. More information on who should and who should not get a flu vaccine is available on CDc’s website.
Why do I need to get vaccinated every year?
Because flu viruses evolve so quickly, last year's vaccine may not protect you from this year's viruses. New flu vaccines are released every year to keep up with rapidly adapting flu viruses.
When you get vaccinated, your immune system produces antibodies to protect you from the viruses included in the vaccine. But antibody levels may decline over time — another reason to get a flu shot every year.
How effective is the flu vaccine?
Although the vaccine is not perfect, it is 40% to 60% effective in most years. And if you do get the flu it is likely to be milder, because vaccination reduces the risk of severe illness or death.
What are the side effects that could occur?
Common side effects from a flu shot include soreness, redness, and/or swelling where the shot was given, headache (low grade), fever, nausea, muscle aches, and fatigue.
Where can I get a flu vaccine?
You can check with your doctor or health plan to find local flu vaccine clinics. Vaccines are also available at drug stores, supermarkets, and health clinics. Depending on insurance, the flu vaccine may be free.
***Psst...Getting a flu vaccine is more important than ever during 2020-2021 to protect yourself and the people around you from flu, and to help reduce the strain on healthcare systems responding to the COVID-19 pandemic