Without question, getting a flu shot is the easiest way you can protect yourself against getting seasonal influenza this winter. Influenza is a highly contagious viral infection of the respiratory passages that will cause you to experience symptoms such as fever, aching, sore throat, coughing, and fatigue. Did you know that there are actually three types of influenza viruses you can contract? Types A and B cause the annual influenza epidemics that affect up to 20 percent of the population each year, while type C is milder and causes less severe flu symptoms.
You may have heard that flu shot vaccines are made from the viruses themselves. That’s true – they work by causing antibodies to develop in your body (about two weeks after vaccination) that help provide protection against influenza strains. Although flu shots are created from these viruses, it is important to note that the viruses are inactive, so you won’t actually contract the infection from the vaccine. In some cases, people who get a flu shot experience fever, muscle pain, and feelings of discomfort or weakness. These symptoms usually last for a period of one to two days and are much less severe than the actual flu.
Because new strains of the influenza virus develop each year, the flu vaccine is constantly changing, so it is important for you and your loved ones six months and older to get a flu shot annually as early as September, which is when the vaccines are typically made available. Flu season runs from October to May, with most cases peaking from late December to early March.
Flu shots are offered in many locations, including doctor’s offices, pharmacies, and health departments. If you’re not sure where to get vaccinated, one of the most convenient places you can go to is your local urgent care center. These facilities don’t require appointments and typically have extended hours that will allow you to get your flu shot when it’s most convenient for you.
To find an urgent care clinic that is offering flu shots near you, use Solv to book your appointment today.