Primary Care: When to Get the Flu Shot
A primary care physician can help you with many wellness goals. This doctor has the training and knowledge to diagnose illnesses and diseases and to treat these issues. Your doctor can also recommend preventive measures such as vaccinations to guard against serious problems that could significantly affect your health. Flu shots are a common vaccination that you should strongly consider getting. Your doctor can guide you in knowing when and how often you should do this.
Reasons to get the shot
Before a person knows when it is appropriate to get a flu vaccination, it is helpful to understand the rationale behind getting one in the first place. The flu is a common illness that can cause a person to have fever, chills, body aches or a stuffy nose. If these are not unpleasant enough, consider that the flu can bring worse complications. Some people develop more serious conditions from the flu such as a sinus infection, an ear infection or pneumonia. Tens of thousands of people are hospitalized each year from the flu and many even die.
Get it each year
Primary care physicians recommend that people get a flu vaccine every year. This will help reduce the risk of getting the illness and missing out on activities such as work and school. In general, only one dose is required, though younger children may need two doses. Most insurance plans should cover the shot, though some family medical clinics may offer free vaccinations.
When to get it
The flu starts to rear its ugly head in the wintertime, so it is important for people to act accordingly. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to start protecting the person against the flu, so doctors say it is smart to get the shot by the end of October. If a person does not meet this deadline, they should still get the shot as soon as possible.
Almost anyone can and should get a flu shot. However, babies under six months should not get vaccinated. Another exception would be people who have allergies to the flu vaccine. Anyone who has concerns about whether the shot is right for them should consult a doctor.
Long-term benefits for primary care
Many people have suffered from the flu and the effects can be challenging. Aside from the individual symptoms, people who are not vaccinated can pass the illness around families, workplaces, schools and the community as a whole. Getting a flu shot does not mean an individual will not get this illness. However, a person’s chance of getting the sickness is reduced significantly.
Feel well this winter
You should not have to be miserable with the flu this winter. Talk to your doctor about getting a shot so you can do your part to fight this illness. Feel free to express your concerns about the vaccination. Your primary care doctor can provide you with guidance and advice about the shot and the flu in general. When you get the vaccination at the right time and when you get it consistently, you and your family can benefit.
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