Best case scenario, you should get a flu vaccination before the flu season begins. Usually, that means getting your shot by the end of October. But if life gets in the way and you miss that target date, getting vaccinated now can still offer you and your loved one’s protection!
We offer flu vaccinations at Smart Clinic Urgent Care, and you can be certain that you’re getting the appropriate vaccination in the appropriate form when you come here. Even if you’re uncomfortable getting vaccinated, it’s extremely safe.
The flu vaccine
There are different vaccines for different groups of people. For example, there are vaccines for children as young as six months old, and vaccines for people who are 65 or older and for pregnant women.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that almost everyone six months of age and older get a flu vaccine every year. Even people with egg allergies should be vaccinated.
The flu vaccine can be dangerous for some people who have certain health conditions, such as Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Coming to Smart Clinic Urgent Care for your shot means that you’ll be able to talk to a licensed, skilled health practitioner about your medical history and any concerns you may have regarding the vaccine.
Timing the flu shot
The reason the CDC recommends getting vaccinated before the end of October is that it takes about two weeks for the vaccine to become effective. Cases of influenza are most common in the fall and winter, and most years the virus begins to spread in October and November, peaks between December and February and continues to appear until May.
This means that, if you get your shot in October or early November, you’ll be protected during the peak months. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get vaccinated later. Experts say there’s a benefit to getting vaccinated as late as January.
Why you should get vaccinated
Getting vaccinated helps reduce the spread of the flu virus, and that saves lives. Thanks to modern medicine, we sometimes think of it as “just the flu,” but it can be deadly. Especially for vulnerable populations such as children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems.
The vaccine is not 100% effective, so it’s possible to be vaccinated and still get the flu. That may make you wonder if you should bother with a shot at all. The answer is definitely yes.
Getting vaccinated slows the spread of the virus, meaning fewer people overall are exposed. Also, if you do get the flu after being vaccinated, your symptoms won’t be as severe.
One of the most pervasive myths about the flu shot is that you can get the flu from the shot. That’s simply not true. You may have some mild discomfort after the shot, but that’s it.
If you haven’t gotten a flu shot yet, protect yourself, your loved ones, and your community. There’s still time, but the longer you wait, the more exposed you are to the risk of contracting the flu.
Smart Clinic Urgent Care has two convenient locations. Call the one that works best for you or stop by to get your flu shot today.