If you wake up one winter morning feeling fatigued, achy, running a fever, coughing and sneezing and with a headache, the odds are pretty good that you’ve got the flu.
The Center for Disease Control estimates that about 20% of Americans catch the flu during the peak of flu season and nearly 200,000 people end up in the hospital from medical complications related to the flu. Plain and simple: getting the flu doesn’t feel good and it wreaks having on immune systems every year.
So what can you do to avoid becoming a statistic during flu season? The simplest answer is to visit an urgent care facility and get yourself a flu shot. These days, there’s a chance you may have do some research online and perhaps formed a strong opinion about flu shots. Rest assured they are absolutely safe. You may have also read something somewhere that getting a flu shot can actually give you the flu.
Bottom line: flu shots are made with inactive strains of the flu virus, but the components of the flu shot aren’t what make a person sick.
If you’re on the fence about getting a flu shot, here are some benefits to getting one for you to consider:
- Not getting the flu: Point blank, the whole purpose of going to an urgent care facility for a flu shot is to not get the flu. The reality is there’s no one magic cure-all that will keep you from catching it, but a flu shot is one of the most effective preventative measures one can take.
- Protection: You might not like going to an urgent care for a flu shot, but by getting one, you’re not only making yourself healthier, you’re also helping to keep the people around you (like your co-workers) healthy.
- Getting less sick: Even if you do succumb to the flu, a flu shot can help make some of the more severe symptoms more mild, compared to not getting one.
- Less risk of hospitalization: It’s true that getting a flu shot can reduce flu complications, but it can also significantly reduce the risk of having to go to the hospital should you experience an complications.
With all the benefits of flu shots like those mentioned above, there are a few risks involved that you should also consider:
- You can still get sick: Once again, a flu shot is not a cure-all. That means even if you go to an urgent care for a flu shot, you can still get sick. A flu shot takes a few weeks to take full effect and in that time spent waiting, a person can still catch the flu.
Here’s something else to know about the shots: they are made from inactive flu strains based on what health professional project for a flu season. If different strains are the ones that take effect, they can effectively render a flu vaccine useless for that year.
- Bad reactions: Flu shots can help strengthen an immune system, but there’s also the possibility of having a bad reaction to them. Usually a bad reaction takes effect right away and if you notice anything like shortness of breath or redness, get to a doctor or the ER right away.
If you’ve done your research, considered all the facts and determined that you want to get a flu shot, the best time to get one is in the fall; think around the end of October. Getting one too early can reduce the vaccine’s protection and getting one too late can leave you at a high risk for infection.
If you’ve decided to get a flu shot ahead of the upcoming flu season, a trip to your local urgent care can get you exactly what you need. More than three million people across the United States visit their local urgent care clinics each week and by visiting yours, you’ll be able to get in and get out, getting the treatment you need for a reasonable price.