When Should I Get my Flu Shot?

October 18, 2023

In the fall, there are many different types of illnesses that you should watch out for. Keep your family safe this week by taking preventative measures against common fall illnesses. Learn about when you should get vaccinated against the flu this fall.

The Best Time to Get a Flu Shot

The flu shot offers protection against the flu throughout flu season. In many areas, flu shots become available as early as August. However, flu season doesn’t typically start until early October. This makes it hard to know when you really need to schedule an appointment for your flu shot.

In order to understand when to get the flu shot, you have to understand how the flu shot works to protect you during flu season. The flu shot works by exposing your body to a small amount of the flu virus so that your body has a chance to build up antibodies to fight off the flu if it is exposed again during flu season. The flu shot typically requires about 2 weeks to become completely effective. Given this, the sweet spot for getting vaccinated in time for flu season would be early to mid-September. At the very least, the CDC recommends that you get the flu shot by the end of October to ensure you’re protected in time for peak flu season.

Who is Eligible for Getting the Flu Shot

It is never a bad idea to take extra steps to protect yourself from getting sick. The flu shot is proven to be safe for most populations and is usually covered by your insurance, making it an easy way to hopefully prevent you or someone in your household from getting seriously sick this flu season. Not to mention that the appointment usually only takes a matter of minutes.

Medical professionals have said that anyone over the age of 6 months who is in good overall health is eligible and should receive the flu shot annually. At-risk populations, such as pregnant people, people with underlying health conditions such as asthma or heart issues or anyone who is allergic to the vaccine should speak to their medical provider for guidance on the flu shot.

Benefits of Getting the Flu Shot

The flu shot is a simple way to add an extra layer of protection from illness during the cold and flu season. Although the flu shot does not guarantee that you will not get the flu, it does significantly lessen your risk of developing severe symptoms. This means that you can get back to your day to day life faster, with less overall down time.

Common flu symptoms you may encounter if you get the flu include:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Congestion

Luckily, the flu shot is readily available at most pharmacies, urgent cares and medical clinics. They are usually covered by your insurance, or come at a low cost. The side effects of a flu shot may last a day or two and present as mild flu symptoms, however you should not have any lasting symptoms. Protect yourself this winter by getting the flu shot.

Get Your Flu Vaccine at AFC Urgent Care Edgewater Today

AFC Urgent Care Edgewater makes getting your flu shot easy. If you’re near Edgewater, MD or one of the surrounding towns, you can walk into our clinic for your flu shot today. We are open 7 days a week, with extended business hours so you can come before or after work. We accept most medical insurance plans and offer little to no wait time. To learn more about getting your flu shot at AFC Urgent Care Edgewater, visit our flu shot service page on our website. If you have questions about the care that we provide, call us today to speak directly with a team member at (410) 956-3394.

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