Why Do I Need a Flu Shot Every Year?

It may be hard to believe it as summer winds its way down, but the start of flu season will be here before you know it. To avoid that pesky—and potentially dangerous—seasonal illness, a flu shot is your best defense.

But why do you need one each year? Our team at AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah wants to shed some light on the topic.

Why Is the Flu Shot an Annual Vaccine?

You’re probably familiar with the fact that most vaccines are a one-and-done deal, or they require a booster shot some time after the first shot. But the flu shot is different.

That’s because strains of the flu vary from year to year. Experts reformulate the flu vaccine each year to align with the flu strains they believe will be most prevalent in a given year. Because of this, the flu shot is also short-acting, meaning it provides protection for the length of the flu season and wears off before the next.

Who Is at Highest Risk of the Flu

  • Older adults
  • Those with compromised immune systems
  • Pregnant women

How Can I Avoid the Flu?

Your first step is to get a flu shot by the end of October. This is the single best method of prevention, and it’s even more important this year, since the flu season will overlap with the COVID-19 pandemic.

But beyond the flu shot, there are also some other steps you can take to prevent the flu, many of which you may already be doing.

Ways to Prevent the Flu

  • Wear a mask as directed to limit the spread of COVID-19, which will also help prevent the flu.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds at a time.
  • If you don’t have soap and water on hand, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.
  • Disinfect commonly touched surfaces often.
  • Steer clear of anyone who may be sick.
  • Don’t touch your face with unwashed hands.

AFC Urgent Care Ooltewah is your one-stop-shop for your flu vaccination needs! Stop by or schedule an appointment at your convenience.