When Is The Best Time to Get a Flu Shot?
People throughout the United States are more concerned that ever about when is the best time to get a flu shot. According to the CDC’s numbers, the seasonal flu can cause as many as 810,000 hospitalizations every year and 61,000 deaths. When you get a flu vaccination, you significantly lower the chances of ending up with the flu. And although you can get a flu shot any time you want during flu season, when you get one can affect how effective the shot is.
When Should You Get a Flu Shot?
The CDC recommends that those who live in the US get a flu shot between early September and near the end of October. Although the flu virus is present throughout the year, it is much easier to catch it beginning in September and on through the following Spring. The flu season often peaks between December and February.
Once you get a flu shot, it can take around two weeks for you to develop enough of antibodies from the vaccine to provide adequate protection against influenza. That protection can fade over time. Therefore, if you get a flu shot before September, you could become vulnerable again before the flu season is over. It is recommended that children between the ages of 6 months to 8 years receive two doses of the flu shot four weeks apart.
Who Should Get a Flu Shot?
It is recommended that nearly everyone over the age of 6 months get a flu vaccination. Those who are in a greater need for a flu shot include the following:
- People who are under the age of 2
- Seniors over the age of 65
- Women who are pregnant
- Anyone living in a long-term healthcare facility
Individuals who have these specific health conditions should also consider getting a flu shot each year.
- HIV or AIDS
- Heart, Kidney, or Lung Disease
- Chronic lung disease
- Diabetes and other endocrine issues
- Neurologic conditions
- Suppressed immune system
- Blood disorders such as sickle cell disease
- Metabolic syndrome
Who Should Avoid Getting a Flu Shot?
Some individuals would suffer from adverse effects if they had the flu vaccinations because of various allergies. Therefore, it is recommended that you do not get a flu shot if you are allergic to any of the following:
- Polysorbate 80
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Children who are under the age of 6 months should not get the flu vaccination. Also, if you have a condition known as Guillain-Barré syndrome, you should speak with your doctor before deciding to get a flu shot.
Are There Side Effects to the Flu Shot?
While most people do not have any adverse reactions to the flu vaccination, some temporary side effects could occur. They include tenderness, minor swelling, and redness at the injection site that often clears up after a couple of days.
Additional side effects from the flu vaccine may include:
- Muscle aches
- Low-grade fever
- The feeling of lightheadedness
These side effects are often mild and clear up within a few days. If they do not clear up, or become worse, you should seek immediate medical care.
Where to Get a Flu Shot Near Me
If you need a flu shot and are unsure about where to get one, give us a call here at BASS Urgent Care for more details. We provide annual flu shots to the residents of Walnut Creek and the surrounding areas. Contact us today at (925) 329-3718 to inquire about flu shots and all the healthcare services we provide.