We offer Flu vaccinations on a walk-in basis in our clinic. Influenza is a seasonal viral illness. This virus is commonly spread in the air through coughing and sneezing. It can even be transmitted in less expected ways such as, talking and breathing near someone who has the virus or touching the surface of an object that has the virus on it then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose.
Why should people get vaccinated against the Flu virus?
Influenza is a serious virus that can lead to hospitalization or even death in some cases. Millions of people get the Flu virus every year and over 30,000 Americans die from
complications of the Flu annually. Getting an annual Flu vaccine is one way to reduce the risk of getting the virus and or spreading it to others.
How does the vaccine work in your body?
There are many different strains of the Flu virus and new ones form every year. The CDC predicts which strains they expect to be prevalent in the upcoming year and labs make annual vaccines for these strains. Flu Vaccines cause antibodies to begin to develop in your body around two weeks after you receive the vaccination. These antibodies will provide protection against infection with the strains of viruses that are in the flu vaccine only. If the prediction was wrong or another strain emerges, then the flu shot is ineffective.
Who should get vaccinated?
Everyone who is over six months of age is advised to get a Flu vaccine unless there is a contraindication. However, there are people who are at higher risk of contracting the Flu virus. This includes children younger than five, adults that are over 65, pregnant women, residents of nursing homes, healthcare workers, and people who are immunosuppressed.
When should I get a flu shot?
You should get a flu shot before the virus begins to spread in your community, not when you are already having Flu symptoms. It takes two weeks for the antibodies to develop in your system before the shot can be effective. It is recommended that you get a Flu shot towards the end of September beginning of October. The antibodies from the Flu shot typically stay strong for six to 12 months then they fade away. If you get your vaccine much sooner than late September you may not be protected in March when Flu is prevalent. You may walk into Doctors Urgent Care and receive this vaccine without seeing the Physician.
Benefits of getting the Flu Vaccination
There are many benefits of getting the Flu shot. It decreases your chances of getting the flu and prevent associated hospitalizations. If you do get the Flu your symptoms are commonly less severe. It is preventive for those with chronic health conditions, and helps protect women and babies in pregnancy. Importantly, it protects people around you, specifically those who are susceptible to serious illness including babies, young children, or elderly.
What to expect when you come into our medical office to get your Flu shot
A member of our trained medical staff will have you read and sign an informed consent about the Flu Vaccination. You must make sure you disclose all your allergies to the doctor to ensure you are not allergic to any ingredients in the vaccination (especially eggs). The staff member will then clean the area where you will receive the injection with an alcohol wipe and administer the vaccine in the Deltoid/Shoulder muscle and apply an adhesive bandage if necessary. This procedure is done quickly and is normally uneventful. Most get no side effects from the flu shot and those that do are normally mild. Minor side effects are, soreness, redness, and swelling at the injected site area, Headache, fever, nausea, and muscle aches.