The flu season this year is being reported as one of the worst in decades. CNN reported that so far this flu season, at least 2,900 people in the US are estimated to have died of the flu. Since the flu season started in October, flu cases and hospitalizations because of the flu, have also risen sharply. CDC has estimated that there have been at least 6.4 million flu illnesses and 55,000 hospitalizations. CDC recommends that anyone older than six months should get a flu shot.
Flu season is considered when the United States experiences annual flu epidemics. Flu viruses are the most common during the fall and winter months. Flu activity often begins to increase in October and November and peaks between December and February. It can last as late as May.
How does the flu shot work?
Wondering how the flu vaccine works? The vaccine causes a person’s antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These flu antibodies protect against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine. Research is conducted each year to indicate the most common influenza viruses for an upcoming season. The seasonal flu vaccine is made based on the research.
How long does the flu shot protection last?
Protection from the flu through the influenza vaccine is thought to last for at least six months. Over time protection will decline because of waning antibody levels and because of changes in circulating influenza viruses from year to year.
What to do to protect yourself from flu this season?
First and foremost, the CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for anyone six months of age and older.
The next steps are:
- Stay away from sick people
- Wash your hands thoroughly and often to reduce the spread of germs
- If infected, make sure you stay home to avoid spreading the flu
- If infected, go to your doctors and get an antiviral drug
Can I get vaccinated and still get flu?
Yes, it is possible to get sick with the flu even if you have been vaccinated, although you won’t know for sure unless you get a flu test at your doctor’s office. This is possible for the following reasons:
- You could have already had the flu virus before being vaccinated.
- You could have been exposed to a flu virus that is not included in the seasonal flu vaccine.
- If you do get the flu after being vaccinated, a flu shot may lessen the severity of your illness.
Can the flu shot make you sick?
Some people, after receiving the flu vaccination, have side effects such as soreness, redness, tenderness, or even develop a mild fever or body aches during the two days after you get vaccinated. That is your immune response, not necessarily the flu.
Give Hillandale Primary Care & Laser Center a call at 770-322-9660 to get a flu shot.
Hillandale Primary Care & Laser Center is owned and operated by Dr. Saira Tariq Niaz, who is a board-certified family physician with offices in Lithonia and Lawrenceville, Georgia. Hillandale Primary Care provides patient-focused, compassionate healthcare of the highest quality to each patient and delivers acute and chronic healthcare to patients of all ages. We are passionate about preventive medicine and encourage each of our patients to take an active role in maintaining overall health and wellbeing. Call today at 770-322-9660 or request an appointment.