Give it a Shot. Save on Your 2016 Flu Shot.

Give it a Shot. Save on Your Flu Shot.

Millions of people in the United States get the flu each year. Most get better within a week or two, but thousands battle flu symptoms, including fever, headache, fatigue, and nausea, for a longer period of time.

Why get a flu shot?

Think the flu is bothersome, but harmless? Think again. Up to 200,000 people are hospitalized each year from the flu, and about 36,000 people die from flu-related problems annually. And although children, pregnant women, and the elderly are at especially high risk for the flu, even healthy children and adults can get very sick and spread the flu to family and friends.

Vaccination is the single best way to protect against influenza. As flu viruses are notoriously highly contagious, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the flu vaccine as the first and most important step in preventing the spread of the flu each year.

What’s in a flu shot? How does it work?

Flu viruses are constantly changing, and each flu season, different viruses can spread. Getting vaccinated against the flu every season protects against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will cause the most illness this season. Because the prominent strains of flu virus one season are likely not the dominant strains the following year, it’s important to get a flu shot at the start of each flu season (November through March, peaking in January and February).

Injected flu vaccines stimulate the immune system in such a way that your body thinks it needs to fight off an infection. If you come into contact with the same strain of flu later in the year, your immune system is already prepared with the antibodies and immune response to fight it off.

Does the flu shot have side effects?

The flu vaccine can be associated with mild side effects, including soreness at the injection site and potential muscle aches or low-grade fever. However, the flu vaccine does not give you the flu. Flu shot side effects, if experienced at all, are much milder than flu symptoms. Further, the injected vaccine contains only the dead virus, which means that transmission of the actual influenza disease is not possible via the vaccine.

How do I get a flu shot?

The best flu treatment is to avoid getting the flu in the first place, and the best way to do that is to get a flu shot at the start of each flu season. You can get a flu shot at any NextCare Urgent Care. You never need to make an appointment, and for a simple flu shot, you can most likely be in and out – and protected from the flu – in under an hour.