It’s likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading this fall and winter, making it more important than ever that you get a flu vaccine!
Should I get a flu shot this year (2020-2021)?
At Physicians Urgent Care, we want you to be fully protected this flu season. Flu symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, cough, congestion, runny nose, headaches, and fatigue can range from mild to severe and potentially lead to medical complications such as pneumonia and dehydration. The influenza vaccination (flu shot) is the best method of protection from the flu.
The CDC recommends influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months of age and older. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of developing complications, including pregnant women, older adults, and young children. Antibody levels decline over time, which means an updated flu shot every year is necessary.
Physicians Urgent Care carries the Flucelvax Quadrivalent Vaccine (with a preservative free option) for ages 4+, Fluzone Quadrivalent Vaccine for ages 6 months+, Fluad Quadrivalent Adjuvanted Vaccine and Fluzone High Dose Quadrivalent Vaccine both for ages 65+, and intranasal Flu Mist Quadrivalent as an alternative to intramuscular injection for ages 2-49.
When is the best time to get vaccinated?
Flu season begins as early as October, with the highest number of cases typically peaking in January and February. For maximum protection, the CDC recommends vaccinating before the influenza virus begins to spread. Since it can take up to 2 weeks after receiving your flu shot to develop protection, it is encouraged to get the vaccine in September or October. It is never too late during flu season to get the flu shot, however – receiving it at any point can be beneficial!
Will getting the flu shot increase/decrease the risk of getting COVID-19?
Influenza and COVID-19 are both contagious respiratory illnesses, but they are caused by different viruses. Being immunized for one does not make you more or less susceptible to the other. Getting a flu vaccine can reduce the risk of contracting both infections simultaneously, keeping yourself and your loved ones healthy.
Will the flu shot make me sick?
You cannot get the flu from the flu shot – the vaccine contains inactivated virus that is incapable of transmitting infection. Flu mist contains a live but weakened virus that is cold-adapted, meaning it is only active in the cooler temperatures of the nose and is incapable of infecting the lungs or other areas where warmer temperatures exist, so you cannot get the flu from this immunization either!
If an individual gets influenza after receiving the flu shot, it is either because they were exposed before the vaccine could take effect or their body did not mount a proper immune response to the vaccine. In addition, the flu virus used to make the vaccine might not match the viruses currently circulating. Even so, studies have shown that the flu vaccination can result in reduced severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still contract the virus.
The flu shot can have side effects that some people mistake for the flu, however, including mild fever, fatigue and body aches. This is usually an immune response to receiving the injection and is part the body’s process of making antibodies. Extreme symptoms such as shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and facial swelling, although rare, can indicate a severe reaction and should be evaluated by a medical provider immediately.
Who can be vaccinated with the nasal spray flu vaccine?
The nasal spray is approved for use in non-pregnant individuals, 2 years through 49 years of age. People with some medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine.
More information can be found at the link below
Is the flu vaccine safe?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) performs research and testing to develop a safe and effective influenza immunization against the most widespread and dangerous strains. Physicians Urgent Care’s medical providers are prepared to discuss any concerns about vaccination safety and allergies.
• Pregnancy: Flucelvax Quadrivalent is preservative-free and safe for pregnant patients. These vaccines do not contain Thimerosal, a mercury-based preservative. The flu vaccine will help protect both the mother and unborn child against the influenza virus during pregnancy.
• Children over 5 months: The CDC guidelines recommend that children 6 months through 8 years old should receive a second (identical) immunization 28 days after the first immunization for the patient’s first two flu vaccination seasons.
• Patients with allergies: The Flucelvax Quadrivalent vaccine is preservative free, latex free, and is cell-based, meaning it is not created using eggs. Individuals with allergies should be vaccinated in an environment with trained medical professionals available who are capable of identifying and managing acute allergic reactions.
How much does it cost?
Many insurance plans cover the cost of the flu vaccine. Flu vaccine for uninsured or self-pay patients will be $30/person.
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Do I need an appointment?
No. The flu vaccine is conveniently available at all Physicians Urgent Care locations, seven days a week.
How else can I avoid contracting influenza?
· Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
· Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available – stick to those 70% alcohol or greater!
· Avoid touching your face. Wear a mask in public places.
· Avoid large crowds where the spread of influenza is more likely.
· Cover your mouth with tissue or your elbow when coughing or sneezing.
· Exercise regularly, get at least 8 hours of sleep, drink plenty of fluids and eat a healthy well-balanced diet.