While a good portion of the news is focusing in on COVID Vaccines, there is another vaccine our team at Integrity Urgent Care wants to put on your mind as well. The flu shot is important for a number of reasons. There are a few factors that go into determining the best time to get yours.
Influenza is a virus that can be transmitted from person to person, similarly to COVID-19, through droplets or contact. Symptoms vary, but are frequently fever, headache, body aches, chills, cough, and sneezing. The vaccine contains the four strains medical professionals feel will be most prevalent this year. According to the FDA, in the 2019-2020 flu season, 38 million people were ill with the flu and 400,000 people were hospitalized with severe symptoms.
When to Get Your Shot
The best time to get your shot is the beginning of fall. Vaccines generally take two weeks for full immunities to develop. Your body is still vulnerable to catching the flu while you are in that waiting period. The “flu viruses typically spread in fall and winter, with activity peaking between December and February.” Flu cases are already being seen at several of our Integrity Urgent Care locations and with the holidays pointing to more gatherings and crowded stores, you may be facing increased exposure. By getting your flu shot now, you are reducing the chance of catching and spreading the flu. Even if you have already contracted and recovered from the flu, because there are different strains, it can still be beneficial to get vaccinated. And while the peak season is through February, flu strains can still be detected through the spring, so you have plenty of time to take advantage of those immunities.
Why it’s Important
Not surprisingly, COVID-19 won’t take a break while the flu begins to circulate amongst the population. The more people who are vaccinated against both viruses, the less transmission of these illnesses we will see. This is especially important as we allow hospitals and researchers to catch up from patient load and understanding how to best treat and prevent these illnesses. Additionally, if you or your family do contract COVID-19 or the flu, your body will have an easier time fighting off the symptoms and helping you to get well again. If you are receiving your first COVID vaccine or you are wanting your booster, you do not need to worry about spacing it out with the flu shot, according to the CDC. The center states, “COVID-19 vaccines may be administered without regard to timing of other vaccines.”
If you are ready for your flu shot, join our online waiting list or walk in to see us. Our staff can get you taken care of quickly and you can check this off your list. If you do think you have already contracted the flu or have other symptoms you need to be seen for, we can take care of that, too.