Get Your Flu Shot Now, and Limit the Spooky Stuff to Halloween!

The Doctor is IN: The leaves are turning , Halloween is just around the corner, & so too is the start of flu season. ConnectedHealths Andrew DeMarco, MD and Betty Rich, RPh walk you through flu season safety.flu-vaccine

You may have seen our video on Facebook a couple of weeks ago recommending that you ‘don’t believe the hype ‘and wait to get your flu shot so you’re well protected during peak flu season. But now with flu season upon us, the flu vaccine is the first and most important step you and your family can take to protect yourselves.

Why do people need to get a flu shot this year (and every year)?

We recommend everyone six months and older get the flu vaccine – the more people who get vaccinated, the less flu can spread.  Vaccinations can also reduce visits to the doctor and missed days at work and school.

You need to get the vaccine every year for two reasons. First, your immune response from vaccination declines over time, so you need an annual vaccine for the best protection. Second, flu viruses are constantly changing, so the vaccines are changed every season.

Is the flu vaccine safe?

Very safe. Every year, millions of people get flu vaccines, and health experts carefully monitor the safety of the vaccines. There are very few serious side-effects, especially when compared to all the bad things that can happen when you get the flu.

Some people say the flu shot can give you the flu. Is this right?

No- this is an ‘Old Wives tale’ that persists. You may experience mild side-effects from the flu shot such as are soreness, redness, tenderness, or swelling at the area of injection, and a low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches are also possible. However, these side-effects are mild and short-lived, especially when compared to symptoms from a bad case of the flu.

How does flu spread?

Flu viruses are spread mainly by droplets made when people with the flu cough, sneeze, or talk. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. You can also get the flu by touching a surface or object that has flu virus on it and then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose.

What else can people do to stay healthy this flu season?

In addition to getting flu vaccinations, we recommend that you wash your hands often, cover up when you cough or sneeze, and please, stay home if you’re sick.

For more health insights from Connected Health, find us on Facebook or follow us @chforu.