As hard as it is to believe, this is the first week of Fall, which means flu season has officially begun.
The fall season brings changing leaves, cooler weather, and unfortunately, the flu. With everything going on right now, you may think it’s too early to start protecting you and your family from the flu, but it’s not! It is recommended by the CDC that anyone over the age of 6 months receive a flu shot annually. Many people get the flu shot, and many people do not. Regardless of which side you find yourself on, there are likely some things you do not know about the flu and flu shot as it relates to our communities.
- Flu shots are recommended annually, even if the vaccine composition hasn’t changed, because over time your body’s immunity to types and subtypes of the flu will decline. Even if you develop antibodies through natural infection (getting the flu) those antibodies will decrease in immunity levels over time.
- In fact, getting the flu during flu season has been identified as less severe in symptoms for those that did in fact get their appropriately timed flu shot, even if it did not prevent infection entirely.
- The flu vaccine takes about two weeks to develop the antibodies that protect against the flu, which is why the CDC recommends getting the vaccine sooner than when the flu begins to spread throughout the community.
- The flu shot has specific composition, designed to match the most widely circulating strains of the flu. The standard dose trivalent flu shots for the 2019-2020 flu season are protective against A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus, A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus, and B/Colorado/06/2017-like virus. The quadrivalent flu shots contains the, as well as B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus protections.
- The phrase ‘flu epidemic’ is equal to ‘flu season.’ The United States experience it ever year, and interchangeability of the phrasing is nothing to be concerned about.
If you aren’t feeling well remember your local Health Choice is always happy to help! Our urgent care centers are open every day of the week 8:00 am to 8:00 pm- No appointment necessary! From 8am to 6pm we offer Rapid Antigen and send-out PCR COVID-19 testing, as well as COVID-19 antibody testing. To be seen by a provider, simply walk in, or save your spot online for visits between 8am and 6pm by clicking here! For information on E-registration to save time click here. Telemedicine options are available here. We look forward to helping you Get Better. Faster!