Getting a flu shot can mean avoiding a virus that causes discomfort, missed workdays, and serious complications. The CDC estimated that during the 2018-19 flu season, there were between 37.4 million and 42.9 million flu illnesses and between 36,400 and 61,200 fatalities. Here’s why now is the best time to schedule a flu vaccine appointment.
A Guide to This Season’s Flu Shots
Why Get a Flu Shot?
Flu viruses cause serious complications in several categories of individuals, including children, asthma patients, pregnant women, people over age 65, and individuals with heart, liver, or kidney disorders. Even if you’re not in one of these categories, you need a shot to avoid getting the flu and exposing high-risk individuals to the virus. A vaccination reduces flu risk by between 40% and 60%.
Importance of Early Vaccination
The ideal time to receive your vaccine is before flu season starts in your area. Flu season generally starts in October, peaks between December and February, and can even last through May. However, you benefit even if you take the vaccine during the flu season, according to the CDC. Allow about two weeks after you receive the flu vaccine for it to reach full effectiveness.
Which Flu Shot Should You Get?
This season’s vaccines are updated to combat viruses expected to be present in the United States, including the A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus and the A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1)pdm09-like virus. The CDC recommends an intramuscular injection of the inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV) or the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV4). Some individuals ages 2 through 49 can take a vaccine made with attenuated live virus (LAIV4) administered by a single-use nasal spray. Ask your medical professional which option is right for you.
Flu shots help individuals and communities stay healthy and productive. The medical team at HealthSmartVaccines in Chantilly, VA, is ready to administer the protective vaccines for each season. Area residents and businesses count on these professionals to deliver services with safety and professionalism, whether they serve at business sites or at their clinic. For a full list of services, visit them online or call (703) 961-0733 and schedule an appointment.