vaccinationWith the weather turning cooler, and the night’s getting longer, this means we’re heading for the winter season, and with that comes flu season.  If you’ve been holding off on getting your seasonal flu shot, now’s the time to get vaccinated before the flu season really sets in.  Here’s what you need to know about the 2019 flu season.

Last year’s flu season came earlier and lasted longer than, setting records for flu-related deaths and hospitalizations in the U.S, according to the CDC.  With a record-breaking flu season last year, it’s important to make sure you’re vaccinated for this year’s flu season.

Who should get vaccinated?

The CDC recommends that everyone over six months of age and older to get vaccine for the flu every year, with the exception of individuals who may have had an allergic reaction to the vaccine in the past.  This list includes:

  • Children over six months of age
  • Pregnant women
  • Seniors/elderly persons
  • Individuals with chronic health conditions such as asthma

How does the flu shot work?

To make the vaccine, scientists select inactive strains of the flu virus that research indicates will be the most common strain in the upcoming flu season.  Once you get vaccinated, your body will produce antibodies against those strains to protect you against the virus.  If you come into contact with the virus at some point during the flu season, you can avoid infection.

There is a possibility that you could end up sick if you come into contact with a different strain of the virus, but because you received your flu shot, your symptoms will be less severe because you had the vaccination.

When is the best time to get a flu shot?

It’s best to get your flu shot as early as possible.  If the flu season comes early, you’ll be protected.  It’s always recommended to get your flu shot before the end of October, as the flu usually comes between November and December, peaking in January.

What are side effects of the flu shot?

Many people avoid getting vaccinated because they think they’ll get the flu.  It’s important to understand that the flu shot doesn’t give you the flu. The flu vaccine contains a dead strain of the flu virus, which is not strong enough to cause an illness.

Where can I get vaccinated for the flu?

You can visit your primary care provider’s office to receive your flu shot, but if you don’t have a PCP or you can’t squeeze in an appointment, you can get the flu vaccine at AFC Urgent Care Bridgeport.  We provide seasonal flu shots on a walk-in basis, so you don’t need an appointment to be seen.  For more information about our seasonal flu shots, please call us at either of our locations: call 203-333-4400 for our Boston Ave location, or call 203-916-5151 for our Main St location.