Everybody over age six months should get their flu shot every flu season. So, if you haven't gotten your flu shot yet for the 2020–2021 season, we recommend getting it now. As the season ramps up, you need to be protected.
“The flu vaccine is an extremely important preventative health care tool,” said Andrea Kovacic, MD, of AdventHealth Medical Group Urgent Care Adairsville Health Park. “It lowers the likelihood that you’ll catch the flu, and it makes it a lot easier to endure the flu if you do happen to catch it.”
Flu vaccines, which change each year to cover the main circulating strains, are generally about 50 to 60 percent effective. To some people, this may sound like a coin toss, but in reality, that is a very effective vaccine.
AdventHealth experts like to say that getting a flu shot is like wearing a seatbelt. It won't prevent all episodes of influenza, but it will reduce the severity, and the chance of complications and death.
Impacts of Influenza
The hallmark of influenza — which is spread through coughing, sneezing and other human contact — is the sudden onset of high fever, along with a cough, chills and body aches.
Most people feel like they wake up in the morning feeling perfectly fine, and by the end of the day you're spiking a fever and feel like you got hit by a metaphorical truck.
In some situations, flu can worsen into pneumonia, and, rarely, lead to death. A few groups are more vulnerable to flu complications, especially adults over 65, very young children, pregnant women and people with underlying illnesses. But there are exceptions, and sometimes active, young and otherwise healthy people can feel the worst of it.
It's rare, but there are those cases where a child or an adult will die, even though they were healthy and had no reason to have complications. The best way to protect yourself against this serious infection is to get the vaccine.
And the benefit of the vaccine is twofold: not only will you lower your own chances of getting sick, you'll reduce the risk of passing the virus onto others which may be the best gift of all.
“It is more important than ever to get a flu shot,” said Dr. Kovacic. Vaccinating for the flu will not only protect our families and our communities but will greatly reduce the strain on the health care system currently responding to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The more people who are vaccinated, the better,” said Dr. Kovacic. “We all need to do our part.”
While its best to get vaccinated before flu season starts, a shot is better late than never. Vaccines are available with multiple AdventHealth Primary Care physicians and Urgent Care locations.