Staying healthy going into the fall holiday season is essential to ensure that you and your family can enjoy a happy and healthy holiday season. One important step to ensuring that you stay healthy during cold and flu season is getting your flu shot. Learn about the benefits of the flu shot so that you can stay healthy this flu season.
When Should You Get the Flu Shot?
The flu shot is a great way to protect yourself going into flu season. However, when should you be getting the flu shot? Is it possible to miss your window to get the flu shot for maximum effectiveness? To understand when to get the flu shot, it is important to know when flu season begins. In most areas, flu season typically starts in early October. It takes around two weeks for the flu shot to become effective, so for maximum protection, you should aim to get the flu shot at the end of September or early October.
Although that is the ideal time frame, most flu seasons last all the way until early May. Therefore, if you get your flu shot anytime between September and March, you can still build valuable immunity to the flu through the flu shot. However, getting the flu shot before the holidays is a good course of action so that you don’t expose family members to the flu, especially if you are going to come in contact with young children or elderly individuals who may have weakened immune systems.
Common Misconceptions About the Flu Shot
Although the flu shot is proven to be both safe and effective at preventing serious illness caused by the flu, there are misconceptions about the flu shot which may discourage some people from getting their flu shot.
The Flu Shot Causes the Flu: This is a very common misunderstanding about the flu shot. The flu shot works by injecting an inactivated (dead) virus. This helps introduce your body to the virus without it being able to infect your body so that your body can produce antibodies needed to fight off a live flu virus. The flu shot can cause some minor side effects, such as fatigue and body aches for 24 hours following the flu shot, but it cannot give you the flu.
The Flu Shot is Expensive: In most cases, the flu shot is covered completely by your insurance with no co-pay required. For patients paying out of pocket, the flu shot is offered for free by many pharmacies and urgent care centers.
It’s Not Worth It Because You Can Still Get the Flu: It is possible that you can still contract the flu even if you’re vaccinated. However, getting the flu when you are vaccinated is far less severe because you already have built up the antibodies required to fight off the virus.
Scientists Sometimes Make an Ineffective Vaccine: The flu has multiple different strains and scientists make an educated guess every year regarding which strain will be most widespread. However, sometimes their guess is not accurate for the flu trends that year. However, this does not mean that the vaccine is completely ineffective, just more effective for a different strain. There is still value in protecting yourself in case you contract that strain of the virus.
Get Flu Shots on a Walk-In Basis at AFC Urgent Care Southcenter
Although there are some misconceptions regarding the flu shot, the CDC recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months should get the flu shot. At AFC Urgent Care Southcenter, we make getting your annual flu shot easy by offering flu shots on a walk-in basis 7 days a week. We never require an appointment, simply walk into our clinic for same-day care.
At AFC Urgent Care Southcenter, we believe that everyone should have access to preventative healthcare. That is why we accept most medical insurance plans and offer low-cost care for patients who pay out of pocket. Simply walk into our clinic, or make an appointment online. For additional questions regarding the services we offer at our clinic, please contact us directly.