How Fast Does the Flu Shot Work?

October 18, 2023

Getting sick can happen in the blink of an eye. One minute you are tackling your large to-do list at work, and the next you are feeling feverish and your throat starts to feel scratchy. Influenza can make you feel really sick really fast.

Of course, avoiding the flu is always the best case scenario, but that takes planning and preparation ahead of the flu season.

Getting your flu shot early in the season at AFC Urgent Care Arden is recommended. Read on to learn more about the flu shot this year.

Is the Flu Shot Effective?

Of course! Studies show that this year’s flu shot is really effective at reducing your risk of getting sick. That said, the flu shot doesn’t work immediately after you get it in your arm. It takes about two weeks for the antibodies to build up in your system that will protect you for the season.

This is why the CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get their flu shot by the end of October instead of waiting until peak flu season in the middle of the winter. It can help keep you healthy all season, but it can also help minimize your symptoms if you do experience a breakthrough infection.

Common Flu Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Congestion
  • Body aches
  • Cough

Can You Treat the Flu Once You Have It?

Viral infections are a bit trickier to treat than bacterial infections because antibiotics don’t work against them. For most cases, rest and fluids are the most reliable way of helping your body fight the infection. There are some antiviral drugs on the market that can help minimize your symptoms and shorten the duration of your illness, but they work best when taken right away at symptom onset.

Most people will make a full recovery between three and seven days. Keep in mind that children and older adults are at a slightly higher risk of developing a severe infection, so keep a close eye on your loved ones and seek medical attention for fevers over 103 degrees, severe headaches or difficulty breathing.

Suggested Foods to Eat While You Are Sick

  • Clear liquids like water or broth from a soup
  • Yogurt
  • Foods with vitamin C, like broccoli or oranges
  • Oatmeal
  • Rice

Feeling sick? Come see us for a rapid test at AFC Urgent Care Arden.

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