What is the Flu Shot?
The first and best way to reduce your chances of getting the flu and spreading it to other is getting a flu vaccine. The CDC recommends that everyone six months and older should consider getting the vaccination on a yearly basis. The health care providers at Temecula Family Medicine in Temecula, California, can talk to you about the flu vaccine and how it may help you from getting the flu this season.
The flu shot or flu vaccine is an injection that offers protection against three or four of the most common strains of influenza during the upcoming flu season. Influenza is a family of highly contagious viruses that cause the flu, which is a disease that affects the respiratory system. Though flu symptoms range from mild to severe, in some cases, the infection may lead to respiratory failure or death.
The flu shot helps your body build-up antibodies against the virus. Though it may not prevent you from catching the flu virus and getting sick, your annual flu shot may lessen the severity of your symptoms and the duration of your infection. To schedule your flu shot, call the office at 951-501-0049 or simply walk-in at your convenience. No appointment is needed.
Who needs the flu shot?
In general, everyone aged six months and older is recommended to get the flu shot. It’s especially important for people at risk of developing serious health complications from an infection, including:
- Older adults
- Young children
- Pregnant women
- People with chronic health conditions (e.g., asthma, diabetes, cancer)
Most people benefit from getting the flu shot, however, it may not be recommended if you have an egg allergy or have had a bad reaction to a previous flu shot. You should talk with the doctor before getting a flu shot especially if you have had Guillain-Barre syndrome or have not been feeling well. Your provider can determine whether or not you’re a good candidate and can talk to you about other ways you can protect yourself from getting sick.
When should I get the flu shot?
Flu season typically begins in October in the United States and typically lasts through March. To build up immunity against the flu it typically takes your body a couple weeks so it’s recommended to get your flu shot before the beginning of the flu season. You can discuss this with our doctors at Temecula Family Medicine.
Will the flu shot make me sick?
According to the CDC, the flu shot cannot cause flu. The vaccines either contain inactivated virus, meaning the viruses are no longer infectious, or a particle designed to look lik like a flu virus to your immune system. You may experience some side effects after getting the shot. Common side effects include pain, swelling, and warmth at the site of the injection. However, some people may also experience headaches, muscle aches, or a mild fever after their injection. These symptoms indicate your body is building up the antibodies needed to help you fight off the influenza virus.
If you would like advice or would like to get the flu shot, call Temecula Family Medicine to schedule an appointment or simply walk-in at your convenience. We are here when you need us.
[Content source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Population Health. Last reviewed July 27, 2020]