It’s that Time of Year Again: Flu Shot Season
Friday, October 7, 2016
When temperatures drop and kids head back to school, you know what follows: annual flu season. Now is a great time to protect yourself and your family against this year’s flu strain by getting a flu shot.
For many healthy adults the flu is nothing more than a seasonal nuisance, forcing you to miss a week of work giving you a chance to binge-watch the latest season of your favorite shows. But the flu can actually be dangerous. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last year almost a million people were hospitalized because of the flu and nearly 40 million people were sick as a result of the flu virus.
A flu shot is your protection from catching the flu or from suffering the worst complications if you do catch the virus.
Who Should Get a Flu Shot?
Essentially, everyone 6 months and older should get an annual flu shot. It’s especially important for young children, adults over the age of 65, anyone with chronic medical problems such as asthma, diabetes, and heart disease, and the people who live with or care for those with chronic medical problems to get a flu shot every year since they’re most at risk for complications.
Complications of the flu can include developing pneumonia and experiencing cardiac events due to the strain the virus can put on the heart.
When is the Best Time to Get a Flu Shot?
Most experts recommend getting a flu shot in the early fall, with October being the most often suggested month.
Is One Kind of Flu Shot Better than the Others?
In past years experts have suggested that the nasal spray version of the flu vaccine was an acceptable replacement for the traditional shot, but this year they are reversing that advice.
The CDC is not recommending the nasal spray flu vaccine this year because it’s been discovered that it’s not as effective as the traditional shot at preventing the flu virus.
For most people the trivalent flu vaccine, which protects against three strains of the flu virus, is fine, but always consult your doctor before making your decision.
People 65 and better are eligible to get a high-dose vaccine with a higher level of antigen, which aids the immune system in developing antibodies.
Can You Get the Flu After Getting the Vaccine?
The short answer is, yes. The vaccine isn’t perfect and it’s still possible to catch the flu after getting the flu vaccine.
If you do start to develop flu symptoms, see your doctor right away, particularly if you’re in a group with higher risk for complications.
If you have questions about increasing your chances of avoiding the flu this year, stop in to talk with one of our healthcare providers. We’re always happy to help you achieve the best health possible.