As the back-to-school season approaches, it's time to start checking things off your to-do list to set your family up for success this school year.
One thing that you should never skip is making sure everyone in your family gets a flu shot before the year begins. Not only will this help them stay healthy, but it also safeguards other students and teachers from the seasonal influenza virus.
Do I Need a Flu Shot?
The short answer is yes, you need a flu shot. The flu, or influenza, is a highly contagious viral infection that can cause severe illness, complications, and even hospitalization.
Getting a flu shot vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and others, especially those who are more vulnerable to flu-related complications, such as young children, older adults, and individuals with compromised immune systems.
Flu shots work by stimulating your immune system to produce antibodies against the strains of influenza viruses that are expected to circulate during the upcoming flu season. This immune response helps your body recognize and fight the flu virus, reducing the likelihood of infection and its associated symptoms.
What Age Can My Child Get a Flu Shot?
It’s recommended that children start getting the flu annually starting from the age of 6 months. Certain children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years might require two doses of the vaccine to guarantee they’re protected.
The initial dose should be given as soon as the vaccine becomes accessible. If your child has previously received two doses of the flu vaccine, regardless of when they received them, they only need to receive one dose of the vaccine this season.
Do You Need a Flu Shot Every Year?
Because the flu virus evolves and mutates over time, leading to the emergence of new strains, it’s important that you get a flu shot every year.
Each year, medical experts closely monitor the flu virus and make informed predictions about the strains that are likely to be prevalent during the upcoming flu season. The composition of the flu vaccine is updated annually to provide protection against the most relevant strains.
To be sure you and your family are safe, it’s recommended that you get a flu shot before the start of each flu season. Flu shots are typically available in late summer or early fall to ensure you have enough time to develop immunity before the flu season peaks.
Do You Need Flu Shots for School?
Flu shots are highly recommended for school-aged children and students of all ages. Schools and educational institutions are notorious for acting as breeding grounds for the flu virus due to close contact and shared spaces.
Vaccinating students helps create a safer and healthier environment, reducing the risk of flu outbreaks that can disrupt learning and other school activities and impact student performance.
Many school districts and educational institutions have recognized the importance of flu vaccination and may require students to provide proof of flu shots as part of their immunization requirements.
Additionally, getting a flu shot for your child not only protects them but also helps safeguard their teachers, classmates, and family members who may be more susceptible to complications.
Visit your local CareNow® urgent care clinic to get your shot today.
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Can You Get the Flu From a Flu Shot?
No, you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Flu shots are made with inactivated viruses or pieces of the virus that can’t cause influenza infection.
The most common side effects of a flu shot are mild and temporary, such as soreness at the injection site, low-grade fever, or body aches. These side effects are a sign that your immune system is responding to the vaccine and building protection against the flu.
It's important to note that the flu shot takes about two weeks to reach its full effectiveness, so it is still possible to get infected with the flu during this period. Additionally, the flu vaccine protects against the strains of the flu virus included in the vaccine, but it does not provide 100% immunity against all strains or other respiratory viruses.
Do You Get Sick After the Flu Shot?
The flu shot does not cause the flu, but it is possible to experience mild side effects after receiving the vaccine. Some individuals may develop a low-grade fever, muscle aches, or feel under the weather for a day or two.
These side effects are generally mild and temporary, resolving on their own without medical care. Believe it or not, they’re actually a good thing as they indicate that your immune system is responding to the vaccine and building protection against the flu.
It's important to differentiate between the side effects of the flu shot and actual influenza infection. The flu shot side effects are significantly milder compared to the symptoms of the flu, which include high fever, severe body aches, cough, sore throat, and extreme fatigue.
Does Urgent Care Give Flu Shots?
We offer a convenient alternative to traditional doctors' offices, with extended hours, walk-in availability, and efficient processes to accommodate your busy schedule. Plus, each of our more than 175 urgent care clinics offers discounted flu shots for just $20.
We follow the guidelines set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) regarding flu vaccination and adhere to strict protocols to ensure the vaccines are administered safely and effectively.
By taking advantage of the flu shot services available at our clinics, you can protect yourself, your family, and your community from the flu virus, so you have a healthier and more productive back-to-school season. For more flu shot facts, visit our website.
And don’t forget — we’ve received the title of Accredited Urgent Care Center from the Urgent Care Association (UCA), so you know you’re in good hands.
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