Do I Need a Flu Shot Every Year?

When the weather gets colder, the flu becomes much more prevalent and widespread. While some people will only experience mild symptoms, others can become seriously ill and even be at risk of death due to complications.

We are so grateful that the flu vaccine exists! It has been effective against the flu for over 50 years, and a shot is recommended every year to protect you from serious illness. Read on as our AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah staff explain why a yearly shot is crucial for your health.

What’s in the Flu Shot?

The standard flu vaccine has deactivated influenza viruses that stimulate an antibody response in your body. Since they are not live viruses, the flu shot cannot give you the flu. However, it is possible to experience symptoms of the flu or even get the flu itself while you are waiting for the vaccine to fully take effect.

If you opt for the nasal spray version of the vaccine, you will be getting a weakened version of the flu virus. The nasal spray also cannot give you the flu, but it can give you flu-like side effects like a runny nose or sore throat.

Benefits of the Flu Shot

  • It reduces your risk of death due to the flu.
  • It can reduce the number of days you are sick if you do get the flu.
  • The shot changes each year to tailor to the most common strain.
  • The shot helps with herd immunity.

What Is Herd Immunity?

“Herd immunity” occurs when a population becomes immune to a disease. The spread of that particular disease becomes unlikely because everyone is immune to it and it can no longer go on spreading from person to person.

While it is unlikely that the flu will ever be eradicated, the more people who become immune each year, the better. Getting the flu shot not only protects you, it also protects the people around you who are potentially at a higher risk of developing serious complications due to the flu.

Stay Healthy This Year

  • Get your annual flu shot.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Avoid others if they are sick.
  • Eat well and drink lots of water.
  • Get adequate sleep.

It’s not too late to get your flu shot this year! Come see us today at AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah.