Enjoy the Festive Season Without the Flu

The holiday season brings plenty of excitement – celebrations, family gatherings, and many other festive traditions – but it can also be the time of year that, unfortunately, many people come down with the flu. If the flu made its way into your home last year, you know you want to do what you can to avoid it this season. One of the best ways to protect yourself and your family is by getting the flu vaccination. Below are some frequently asked questions regarding the flu.

flu shotWho should get vaccinated?                            

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older get the vaccination annually. The flu shot is especially important for people who are at high risk for complications from the flu and older adults.

According to Dr. Maughan from Richmond Family Practice “The flu vaccine is available for all individuals who have not had an adverse reaction to the vaccine or have an egg allergy. It is advised for all individuals over 65 and for those who are at high risk because of co-morbid conditions such as chronic lung or heart disease.  The new high dose flu vaccine may be helpful for high risk individuals.”

What are the side effects of the flu shot?

The flu shot does not cause you to get the flu, but there are some side effects including: soreness or swelling where you received your shot, low grade fever and/or aches.

How effective is the flu shot?

The effectiveness of the flu shot varies from year to year. According to the CDC, when the flu vaccination and the circulating flu virus is a close match the vaccination is 71% effective in reducing flu-related hospitalizations.

How do I get vaccinated?

You can receive flu vaccinations a number of places including your physician’s office and local pharmacies. Retreat Doctors’ Hospital, located on the corner of Grove Avenue and Robinson Street is also offering free walk-in flu shots for adults 24/7 through the emergency department while supplies last. No appointments are necessary. For additional information about Retreat Doctors’ Hospital or our free walk-in flu shots please visit hcavirginia.com.