10 Frequently Asked Questions About Getting Flu Shots
1- Why Should I Get A Flu Shot?
Here at Angels Medical, we try to help our Houston patrons understand that it is ALWAYS worth it to get vaccinated and protect yourself and your loved ones against the Influenza Virus. The truth is, every year many people underestimate the severity of the flu and its impact upon “healthy” and “unhealthy” individuals alike. Because of this, every year millions of people get sick, hundreds of thousands of people have to be hospitalized because of the flu, and tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes. Influenza is much more serious than most people think it is and it changes every year meaning getting your shot is the best way to protect yourself against it.
2- Who Needs To Get A Flu Shot?
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should get their influenza flu vaccine every flu season. It is especially important for people who are at high risk of developing complications from the flu, such as pregnant women, young children, and people aged 65 and older to make sure and protect themselves. Bring your children, elderly parents, and yourself into Angels Medial of Houston to protect your family against the flu.
3- Who Shouldn’t Get Flu Shots?
Not all flu shots are created the same. While universal flu shots have been made available to treat any patient aged 6 months and older, different flu vaccines have been approved to treat different groups of patients including the recombinant influenza vaccine for adults 18 and older, and high-dose inactivated vaccines for people 65 years and older. Those with severe allergies to the flu or ingredients used in the vaccine, including eggs, a common ingredient, should not get the flu vaccine. If you have any questions about your eligibility for a flu shot talk to one of our Angels Medical providers today.
4- When Should I Get My Flu Shot?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, influenza season begins in October and continues through the winter months sometimes extending into May. As experts, they recommend flu vaccination before the end of October. Meaning it’ll serve you best to get yourself and your family into the Angels Medical Houston clinic nearest you for your flu shots as soon as you feel the change in seasons.
5- Do I Really Need To Get A Flu Shot Every Year?
One of the uniquely difficult challenges of protecting against the flu is how quickly it evolves in form and structure making vaccinations quickly become outdated against the current strain. Every year, due to the changing of the actual virus, the flu vaccine is reconfigured. So the shot you received last year is not designed for optimal protection against the flu of this year. For this reason, as well as the fact that a person’s immune response informed by a vaccine actually declines over time, real protection from the influenza virus is best established through an annual vaccination. The good news is, Angels Medical is a walk-in clinic, so you don’t need an appointment to walk into the branch nearest you and get a flu shot today!
6- Does The Flu Vaccine Start Protecting Me Right Away?
The short answer is, no, it’s going to take up to two weeks for your body to be fully protected by the vaccine. Why? When you get vaccinated against the flu at Angels Medical, we’re essentially injecting information into your body that will educate your immune system about the flu. As you might expect, this education is not instantaneous, but it is effective and will help your immune system respond quickly and more effectively against the flu virus. This is one of the major reasons why the CDC recommends you get your flu shot before the end of October so that you are fully protected when flu season is in full swing.
7- Can I Get The Flu Even If I’ve Had A Flu Shot?
As much as we wish we could say a flu shot is going to make you completely immune, the matter of the fact is, you can still contract the flu. Here are a couple of ways this could happen:
- You were already exposed to the flu and incubating it before you got vaccinated or during the time it takes for the flu shot to take full effect and this causes you to get ill before you’re protected from the flu.
- You have been exposed to a strain of the flu that was not included in the design of this year’s vaccination.
- Your immune system was not able to develop a strong enough response to the flu, even with the vaccination. This is something that can happen to those who have a compromised immune system or are at high-risk of developing the flu.
8- Are There Different Kinds Of Flu Shots?
Experts have designed a number of variations on the flu vaccine in order to try and provide the best method of delivery and efficacy for different patient groups. Included in the different kinds of flu vaccination are:
- Inactivated influenza vaccines
- Live attenuated influenza vaccines
- Recombinant influenza vaccines
However, the CDC does not have any preference for one influenza vaccine over another as long as the vaccine received is age appropriate. Instead, the CDC simply emphasizes the importance of making sure you and your loved ones get vaccinated every flu season. Let Angel’s Medical make this yearly chore quick and easy for you. Come on down and get your flu shot, no appointment necessary.
9- Is One Flu Shot Better Than Another?
The CDC makes a point of emphasizing that they have no preference for one flu shot over another. All versions of the flu shot that have been approved for your age group are effective at bolstering your immune system against the influenza virus and providing you with the protective benefits needed during flu season.
However, while most flu vaccines are approved for the general population, there are different vaccines approved for special patient groups. If you have a chronic illness, allergies to specific ingredients, or are very young or very old then talk to your medical provider about the options that will be best for you.
10- Where Can I Get A Cheap Flu Shot?
Angels Medical not only offers a low-cost option for medical services like the flu vaccination, but you can walk in and get your flu shot today, no appointment necessary. We’re proud to bring these needed services to the families in our community at affordable prices with or without insurance.
If you still have questions about how a flu shot works and why your family needs it, check out our article “Why your Family Needs Flu Shots“.
If you’re wondering where you should go to get your flu shot, just walk into any one of our five clinics around Houston and take advantage of our expert services today!