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What you need to about getting your 2023-2024 flu shot in South Knoxville at AFC Urgent Care of Chapman Hwy.
The flu is a highly contagious respiratory illness that can cause mild to severe symptoms, and even death. In the United States, the flu infects an average of 3% to 11% of the population each year. In 2022, Knoxville was among the top ten cities in the country for flu cases during late November. With flu season expected to peak in late December or early January, it’s important to get your flu shot now. The flu vaccine takes up to two weeks to fully protect you, so don’t wait until it’s too late.
Influenza, or flu, strains are highly contagious viruses causing mild to severe respiratory illness, leading to hospitalization or death in extreme cases. Flu symptoms typically last between 5 to 7 days. However, you may feel drained or fatigued for a few weeks before you’re back to normal.
Typical Flu symptoms include:
If you believe you may already have the flu, it is important to get tested asap. Our Rapid Molecular Flu Test typically returns results in 15 minutes or less. If tested soon enough, our medical providers can prescribe medications that may help prevent flu complications or shorten the severity and duration of the flu.
Have you ever wondered why you should get the flu vaccine? Or how effective it is? If you’re unsure about getting this year’s flu vaccine, here are 4 ways the flu shot benefits you and your community.
A flu shot best protects you against both Influenza A and Influenza B groups. The flu vaccine is updated each year to effectively combat the newest and most rampant flu strains, as they change and evolve every year. While it’s possible to contract the flu while vaccinated, the flu shot reduces the risk of infection by 40% to 60%. You can further prevent your risk of the flu when you practice healthy habits in addition to the vaccine. Practice these for additional protection:
Combine these practices with the flu vaccine for the best defense against the flu.
While the flu is a highly contagious virus, getting vaccinated can significantly reduce your risk of catching it. The flu is one of the most contagious viruses in the world, and it’s nearly impossible to completely avoid it. However, the flu vaccine can dramatically reduce your chances of getting sick.If you do contract the flu while vaccinated, you’re likely to have a milder case with fewer symptoms and a quicker recovery time than those who haven’t been vaccinated.
In the 2022-2023 flu season, the CDC found there were an estimated 26-50 million flu illnesses, 12-24 million flu medical visits, 290,000-670,000 flu hospitalizations, and 17,000-98,000 flu deaths in the United States. These numbers demonstrate the widespread impact of the flu and the importance of prevention.
Even if you’re unsure if you need the vaccine, your flu vaccination impacts those around you, especially medically vulnerable populations. While not 100% effective, the flu vaccine trains your immune system to build antibodies that fight flu viruses. When antibodies attack a flu virus, it weakens the virus’s ability to replicate and lessens the number of residual viruses spread on surfaces or to people. By curbing the number of active viruses, getting a flu shot potentially saves lives. As more people get the flu vaccine, the community collectively reduces the risk of rampant flu outbreaks.
There are several groups that qualify as high risk for the flu, especially those with pre-existing illnesses. The flu shot significantly protects these groups and is more effective when others around them are also vaccinated. If you’re constantly around a person or group that is at high risk for the flu, it’s important you also take precaution by getting a flu shot.
The following groups and conditions are considered high risk for flu and flu complications:
*During the 2022-2023 season, children younger than 5 years had the second-highest rates of flu-related medical visits. From October through April 2023, there were 2,762 flu-related hospitalizations among all children.
Yes. Flu viruses evolve quickly between flu seasons, and flu strains can be prevalent one year but not the next. An annually updated vaccine allows your immune system to create the most effective antibodies possible against the season’s most active and aggressive strains.
Additionally, the flu vaccine is only effective for nearly 6 months before antibodies start declining. Once those antibodies dissipate, you are more susceptible to flu viruses until you receive your next flu shot for the upcoming season. When you get your yearly flu shot, you’re more adequately equipped for the current season’s most active viruses.
While it’s rare, there are people who should not get a flu vaccine or need to consult their physician first. Infants under 6 months old and people with life-threatening allergies to common vaccine ingredients should NOT get a flu shot.
Consult with your doctor about getting a flu vaccine if you have any of the following illnesses:
If you feel sick, wait until you feel back to normal to receive a flu shot or consult with a physician.
*From 2023-2024, no extra precautions are needed for flu shots in egg-allergic individuals. Vaccinations should still be given in settings ready to manage allergies.
You may experience mild side effects either minutes or hours following your flu shot appointment. These side effects from the vaccine are NOT caused by the flu, and typically subside the next day. The vaccine takes up to 2 weeks to be fully effective, so it’s possible to contract the flu after receiving a flu shot. Some common side effects from the flu vaccine include:
Severe or extreme side effects from the flu vaccine are rare. If you experience an allergic reaction to the vaccine, contact your primary doctor or AFC Urgent Care as soon as possible.
If you develop flu-like symptoms, visit AFC Urgent Care for fast and accurate flu test results, no appointment is required. Our Rapid Molecular Flu Test typically returns results in 15 minutes or less. If you do have the flu, we also offer treatment, helping you find the best road to recovery. You don’t have to worry about finding treatment on your own. It’s always best to consult a medical professional when it comes to treating a contagious illness like the flu. We understand that it’s never convenient to contract the flu as an employee, parent, student or child. With our commitment to prompt quality care, we’ll discuss your symptoms and personalized treatment plans, call in prescriptions, provide recommendations and send you home so you can start resting ASAP. Follow treatment instructions and continue to monitor your symptoms. Remember to wash your hands, sanitize your home and avoid in-person interactions, especially with high-risk individuals.
If your flu test is negative but you have all the symptoms, our team will help you find an accurate diagnosis with appropriate treatment, so you can get back to feeling your best.
Visit AFC Urgent Care today for the 2023-2024 flu shot. Stay happy and healthy as you protect yourself and your community this flu season.
We offer a wide range of common vaccinations for people of every age. For children six months and up, we can provide regular vaccines against diseases like hepatitis B, and PCV. For adults, we offer flu shots, and tetanus shots, and many more. Contact us and let us know which vaccine you need.
The Flu Vaccination is recommended for everyone six months of age and older, with rare exceptions. The flu vaccine is especially important for people who are at high risk for developing serious complications from the flu, such as children under five years of age, adults over 65 years of age, pregnant women, people with weakened immune systems, and people with chronic health conditions such as asthma, diabetes, or heart disease. Even if you are not in a high-risk group, getting vaccinated can help protect yourself and those around you from the flu, which can cause severe illness and even death in some cases. It is always best to consult with your healthcare provider about whether the flu vaccine is recommended for you, given your individual health status and medical history.
Yes, AFC offers several services that otherwise are made available only through an appointment at your doctor's office. Whether you need a regular checkup, vaccinations, or lab work, we're able to provide healthcare alongside your general practitioner, so you never need to go without the services you need.