Should I Get My Flu Shot?Uncategorized September 17, 2020
A lot of patients ask, “Should I get my flu shot?” The answer is a resounding yes. And here’s why getting the flu shot is important than ever—especially because of COVID-19.
Why It’s More Important Than Ever to Get the Flu Shot
There are several reasons why we recommend you get a flu shot. First, the flu vaccine protects against the virus in most cases. Not only does it help you avoid getting sick, but it also prevents others from contracting the flu by decreasing the spread of the virus to others.
Also, although the flu shot won’t prevent you from contracting COVID-19, it can help aid doctors in differentiating between these two viruses that present similar symptoms—fever, sore throat, cough, and fatigue.
Keep in mind, those under six months of age or a person with a severe allergy to the vaccine or its ingredient, should not get the flu vaccine.
When Should You Get the Flu Shot?
Generally, the influenza virus starts circulating in October, and it spreads more as winter progresses. The CDC highly recommends that younger, healthier people get flu shots in September. The Founder and Clinical Director of Cure Urgent Care and Specialty Infusion Centers, Dr. Jake Deutsch explains in Well + Good, “The earlier you get the flu shot, the more likely you’re going to have immunity. It can take four to six weeks for the body to build a full immune response to the flu vaccine, so that puts you in a better standing to prevent the flu.”
Remember, some experts warn that if you wait too long to get the shot, there can be vaccine shortages this year due to an overwhelming demand because of COVID-19.
Should People with Chronic Illnesses and Autoimmune Diseases Get the Flu Shot?
We suggest that if you have a chronic illness and/or autoimmune disease to get the flu vaccine yearly. Especially because the flu can exacerbate or flare your chronic illness. If you get the flu shot, the vaccine may help prevent the flu, thus preventing a flare-up. Additionally, if you’re receiving immunosuppressants, it could make you more susceptible to infections, including the flu.
The flu is one of the most vaccine-preventable infections and the flu shot is recommended by the American College of Gastroenterology and American Academy of Neurology, among many other agencies, for those with autoimmune disease.
We often hear that people are hesitant to get the flu shot because it makes them sick. However, there is a difference between being sick and feeling under the weather. After receiving a flu shot, it’s normal to feel some side effects. This is our system mounting an immune response and creating antibodies that will combat the flu if exposed. Sometimes, the vaccine causes you to feel less than 100 percent, but this does not mean you’re sick.
We highly recommend that you get your flu shot this year, especially in light of COVID-19.