The CDC recommends an annual flu shot to protect you against getting the flu, and we at AAPRI agree. The flu can be serious, especially for senior citizens and young children. Even a healthy adult can become very sick for an extended period of time if you catch the flu, resulting in lost time for work or family, and higher medical costs.
You can’t get the Flu from the Flu Shot
Flu shots are made either with flu vaccine viruses that have been ‘inactivated’, or with no flu vaccine viruses at all. Therefore, they are not infectious. However, according to anecdotal evidence, there are some people who have a reaction.
For the best possible flu shot experience, we suggest following these steps:
Find a convenient option for your flu shot. Nowadays, there are countless flu clinics and convenience options (right in your local drugstore or supermarket) for flu shots. By taking just 15-20 minutes out of your day, you can get this done. You can usually shop while you wait, too.
Practice good self care. Vaccines work by stimulating your body’s response to virus, so it can produce antibodies. Life is busy, but your health is the most important thing, so try to take it easy when you get a flu shot. Get a good night’s sleep, drink lots of water, and take a pain reliever if you experience injection site pain. Give the vaccine and your body a chance to do their work!
Do NOT get your flu shot while sick. Even if you’re just “a little run down” or just “fighting off something.” Remember how vaccines work? The flu shot will be most effective when you’re at peak health already. Don’t risk getting a flu shot if you already have a cold or think you might. Better to wait until you’re all better–but mark your calendar to be sure you don’t forget!
Schedule your flu shot as early as possible. Remember, once you get the shot, you should not have close contact with at-risk populations, such as infants or the elderly, for two weeks. (This protocol holds for all vaccines, not just influenza.) So it’s best to get it early in the season, especially with the holidays coming up.
Flu activity will pick up as the season wears on, and CDC expects more cases in the coming months. Your health is top priority. Make sure you and your loved ones are protected this flu season. Get your flu shot today!