It’s hard to believe it’s October! The fall season brings cooler weather, changing leaves, and unfortunately, the flu. You might think it’s too early to start thinking about protecting your family from the flu, but it’s not! Right now, it’s time for you to start taking steps to ensure that the dreaded influenza does not effect your family.
Many people get the flu shot, and many people do not. Whichever side you are on, there are probably some things you do not know about the flu and the flu shot as it relates to our communities.
- 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.
- 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 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.
Whether you are ready for us to help you with your flu shot, or you experience symptoms of the flu and need to see a care provider, know that our Urgent Care centers are ready to help care for you and your family this coming flu season!