It is cold and flu season again, and we are all faced with the same question: Get a flu shot or not?
The short answer is absolutely. And, you can get your flu shot faster and for a great price by visiting any of our U.S. HealthWorks urgent care locations. Our centers administer the flu shot, not the nasal spray. It is a very small needle and the flu shot does not cause tissue irritation.
One of the first things to understand is that the flu is different than a cold or seasonal allergies (see our guide to knowing the difference here). The flu is much more serious and affects countless people each year. However, it can be stopped in advance by getting vaccinated.
Influenza can have serious health effects that are much worse than the runny nose, sore throat, and cough of a common cold. The flu can cause days of fever, chills, cough, sore throat, sneezing, and head and muscle aches. Thousands of people die each year from the flu and many more are hospitalized due to flu complications such as viral or bacterial pneumonia, congestive heart failure, diabetes, and the worsening of chronic medical conditions.
Risks are higher for certain individuals, especially anyone over 65 years of age, people who have a chronic or long-term condition, and women who are pregnant.
Each year the CDC does extensive research, traveling the world to build the specific vaccine for the prevention of the current year’s flu. This is normally a quadrivalent vaccine, treating 4 specific types of flu virus. And since this is building immunity to a different virus each year, you are actually adding a new layer to your immune system defenses every time you get the latest shot.
The best time of year to get a flu shot is now. It will take roughly nine days from the time you get the shot for immunity to the flu to kick in, so you should get your flu shot as early in the season as possible. Flu activity usually peaks in February and vaccination should take place before that time.
When you visit one of our centers for either flu prevention advice or flu treatment, we’ll talk about your risk factors, address any symptoms, and provide a diagnosis. Once we determine if it is a cold or a flu, we can evaluate treatment options, which include an anti-flu pill, Tamiflu, antibiotics, and more.
If you choose not to get a flu shot and contract the virus, you should visit one of our centers for treatment. It’s better to visit U.S. HealthWorks rather than an ER because a visit to an ER can be very costly and time consuming. Further, since we can see you the same day, you won’t have to wait for an appointment, as is the case with your family doctor.
Get some helpful tips from Dr. Don Bucklin on getting a flu shot and what is included in this year’s vaccine. Click here.
Click here to locate the center closest to you for a flu shot.
Click here to watch our short, entertaining, and informative video about cold and flu season.