The importance of a flu shot

The typical flu season will occur from fall to early spring. The severity and length of an epidemic might vary. There are some fortunate people who get through the season without catching the flu at all. However, you should be prepared to be surrounded by coughing and sneezing few a few months in every year.

The flu can affect between 5 and 20% of the United States population every year according to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).

The typical flu symptoms usually include:

  • A sore throat
  • Headache
  • Coughing
  • A runny nose
  • A fever

Often, the symptoms that you get when you’ve got the flu, can keep you in bed for a week or more. It is important to prevent the flu if you do not want to miss:

  • Social events
  • Family events
  • Holiday celebrations
  • Work

How does a flu shot work?

Each year, the flu virus adapts and changes, which is why it is so widespread and hard to avoid. There are new vaccines created and released each year to try and keep up with the rapid changes in the virus. Before the flu season starts, federal health experts predict which of the 3 strains of flu are most likely to thrive. And with this information, they will manufacture the appropriate vaccines.

The flu shot prompts the immune system to produce antibodies, which is why it works. In turn, the antibodies will help your body to fight off the different types of flu viruses that are present in the vaccine. Once you’ve received the flu shot, it will take more or less two weeks for these antibodies to fully develop.

Who needs a flu shot?

There are people who are a lot more prone to infection than others, which is why the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that you get vaccinated against the flu if you are older than 6 months.

The flu shot is not 100% effective in preventing you from catching the flu, but they are one of the most effective methods to protect yourself and your family against the virus and its related complications.

At Fourways Health Centre we offer flu shots as well as needleless vaccines for the little ones and those who prefer to steer clear of needles. For more information, visit our website on www.fourwayshealthcentre.co.za.