Flu season has arrived. Protect your family now against this year’s flu virus and get vaccinated at one of our 40+ locations. Most insurances cover the cost of the vaccination – so it’s FREE! If you are a self-pay patient, the cost is $30. No appointment is needed and most centers are open nights and weekends. Click here to find a location near you.
WHAT IS THE FLU?
The flu is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat and lungs and can cause mild to severe illness. The best way to prevent the flu and flu-related complications is with an annual flu vaccination.
WHO SHOULD GET A FLU SHOT?
Flu vaccination is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older who have no medical contradictions.
WHAT TYPES OF FLU SHOTS DO YOU OFFER?
Our urgent care centers offer the Fluzone Quadrivalent vaccine, which is designed to protect against the four different strains of the flu for ages six months and up. Adults age 65 and older should receive the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine.
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT FOR CHILDREN TO GET A FLU SHOT?
Anyone with a weakened immune system is at high risk for complications from the flu. Because children's immune systems are not fully developed, children six months and up should get a flu shot annually. A child that has not gotten a flu shot previously and is between the ages of six months and eight years of age may need two doses of the flu vaccine this flu season to optimize their immune response. Your healthcare provider can advise on how many doses a child should get and when.
WHAT ABOUT SENIOR CITIZENS?
Seniors, like children and those with chronic health conditions often have weaker immune systems. In recent years, flu vaccinations have been specifically formulated for those aged 65 and above, with a higher dose of antigens to help lower the health risks associated with the flu. Make sure you ask your provider for the Fluzone High-Dose vaccine if you are in this age group.
WHO SHOULD NOT GET A FLU SHOT?
Children younger than 6 months are too young to receive a flu shot. People with severe, life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine. This might include gelatin, antibiotics, or other ingredients.
Talk to your doctor: If you have an allergy to eggs or any of the ingredients in the vaccine or if you have ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS).
IS THE QUADRIVALENT FLU VACCINE SAFE?
Yes, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Studies show that vaccines made to protect against four flu viruses have a safety profile similar to seasonal flu vaccines made to protect against three viruses, with mostly mild side effects.
CAN I GET SICK FROM GETTING THE FLU VACCINE?
The Quadrivalent vaccine cannot cause influenza illness, because the vaccine viruses used to make it are ‘inactivated’ (killed) or weakened.
IF I GET A FLU SHOT, AM I GUARANTEED NOT TO GET THE FLU?
Recent studies show vaccine reduces the risk of flu illness by about 50 – 60 percent among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are like the vaccine viruses. Even if you do contract flu, having had the vaccine will reduce the severity of symptoms.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS FROM GETTING THE FLU VACCINATION?
The majority of side effects reported for Fluzone Quadrivalent and Fluzone High-Dose vaccines include pain, redness, and swelling at the injection site, fever, fatigue, and muscle aches.
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO GET A FLU SHOT?
The peak for influenza typically hits late December through March, however, the season can begin as early as October and last through May. While flu spreads every year, the timing, severity and length of the season varies from year to year. The CDC recommends getting vaccinated as soon as the vaccine is available as there is a two-week time period after vaccination that it takes the body to develop immune protection. So, getting the vaccine before anyone around you contracts the virus is your best chance of not getting sick this year. Our centers have vaccines available now, and appointments are not necessary.
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