The fall season ushers in the start of school, the first glimpses of the holidays around the corner, and a not-as-welcome guest – flu season. There is never a good time to get the flu, but with all the busyness that fall brings, there isn’t much time for being sick. Because of this, you should make getting the flu shot, for yourself and your family, a priority.
What is the flu?
- Muscle aches
- Sore throat
- Nasal congestion
These symptoms can last for a week or more and can lead to complications that require hospitalization. The flu is passed easily from person to person, so it is best to do everything you can to prevent it.
How effective is the flu shot?
While the flu shot cannot completely prevent you or your family from experiencing flu symptoms, it can decrease your chances of getting the flu, and it can reduce the severity of any symptoms you may experience.
The flu shot is completely safe, and it is especially recommended for people who have heart conditions or other health issues that may cause complications with the flu virus. However, most doctors recommend that anyone over six months old should receive the flu shot.
Because flu strains are constantly changing, it is important to stay up to date with your flu shots – getting them each flu season.
When and where can you get it?
Early October is the best time to get the flu shot. If your child is under the age of nine, and this is their first time getting the flu shot, most doctors will recommend that they receive two doses of the vaccine. These two doses need to be four weeks apart, so getting the first dose early in the month will help ensure that they have received the full dosage before the end of the month.
The flu shot is available at your primary care physician’s office, and many pharmacies offer flu shots as well. In addition, college students can often receive the flu shot on campus.
Make it a priority
The flu can be an uncomfortable few days of illness, but it can also possibly lead to hospitalization, and in some cases, death. The flu shot is an easy way to prevent the virus.