Flu Shots: 5 Things to Know
It’s that time of year again: It is now officially flu season. In order to prevent it, the best protection is vaccination. The flu shot is available in a variety of forms, so it may be overwhelming deciding where to go and which kind of vaccination to get.
Here, SmartCare Urgent Care breaks down the top five things you need to know about the flu.
Everyone ages six months and older should get the flu vaccination every season.
While the flu vaccine recommendation used to be for specific groups of people, it has been expanded to nearly everyone. It’s a myth that if you’re young and healthy, you don’t need to be vaccinated. People should begin getting vaccinated as soon as one becomes available. Ideally, it is best to get the shot before flu season begins in October. It generally takes two weeks for antibodies to develop and protect the body after vaccination; however, as long as the virus continues to circulate, it is not too late to get the vaccination.
There are different kinds of vaccines called intramuscular vaccines, vaccines by jet injector, nasal sprays and intradermal vaccines.
Flu vaccines typically have several strains of the virus that they protect against. Quadrivalent protects against four strains, while trivalent protects against three. Intradermal, nasal sprays and some intramuscular vaccines are quadrivalent. Vaccines by jet injector and some intramuscular vaccines are trivalent. That doesn’t necessarily that one kind of vaccine is better than the other. When getting vaccinated, make sure to discuss your options with your healthcare professional to decide what is best for you.
It’s not possible to predict what the virus will be like this season.
The CDC is hopeful that this year’s vaccine will be better suited for the flu than the last. Regardless, the vaccine remains the best way to protect yourself this season. If you get the flu before getting the vaccination, visit the doctor as soon as possible. Antiviral drugs are used to treat the flu and work best within 48 hours of getting sick. Getting the flu shot is ideal, though if you catch the sickness, you can still go to the doctor to treat it quickly.
You don’t have to visit a primary care doctor in order to get a flu shot.
You can get the shot in a variety of places. Even if you don’t have a primary care doctor, you’ll be able to get the vaccination. You can get the vaccination at places like a health department, a clinic or an urgent care center. At an urgent care, you don’t need an appointment in order to get the vaccination.
In addition to the vaccine, you can protect yourself in other ways.
The first step to prevention is getting the vaccine and encouraging your family and friends to do the same. Though the vaccine is the best way to protect yourself from flu, you can also stay away from sick individuals and wash your hands to avoid spreading germs. If you are sick, you can also stay home from work or school in order to prevent others from getting sick. You should visit a doctor who can diagnose you and provide you with the treatment you need.
To learn more information about the flu, visit http://www.cdc.gov/.