With flu season around the corner, you may be worried about coming down with a bug. Unfortunately, many people catch the flu every year and wind up sick in bed with a scratchy throat, runny nose, or fever. However, you can easily prevent this illness, or lessen your potential symptoms, with a seasonal vaccine from a local health care provider. Learn more about how this shot works and why you should get one below.
How the Flu Vaccine Works
The influenza virus has multiple strains and is continually evolving. Every year, health care researchers work to determine which strains will be most prominent in the season to come. They then create a vaccine that addresses those strains.
Since last year's vaccine won't necessarily protect against the predominant flu strain this year, you should get vaccinated annually. Flu season begins in the early fall and can last until April, so even if you don't get vaccinated until after the season started, you'll still gain valuable months of protection.
Who Should Get the Vaccine
People aged six months and older, including children and pregnant women, should get a flu vaccine every season. There are a few rare exceptions, such as individuals who have allergies that might be affected by the vaccine.
The flu shot can keep you from getting sick, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that it prevents millions of illnesses and tens of thousands of hospitalizations every year. People who get vaccinated and then do get sick also tend to experience less severe symptoms.
Getting vaccinated further protects those around you as it lessens the spread of the disease. This helps safeguard vulnerable populations who can't get vaccinated themselves, such as newborns.
Carolina Doctors Med Care of Sanford, NC, provides comprehensive care for patients of all ages, including flu vaccinations. They’re known in the community for their compassionate team of doctors and the high quality of health care they provide. Take a look at their website for a full list of their services. To schedule an appointment, call (919) 774-3680.