Time to call your doctors, because flu season is officially here, two months ahead of time. Yes, Kentucky health officials are urging the public to get their flu shot earlier this time around, as it has the potential to be as bad, if not worse, as last season’s epidemic. Although it is still summer, doctors recommend you prepare for the upcoming flu virus, after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicts more than 50,000 deaths from the flu and complications. Physicians are seeing cases in mid-August, admitting people into the hospital for compilation.
Doctors hope this early surge will slow down the traditional flu season between December and March, but recommend to get vaccinated sooner rather than later to avoid complications. Usually, it takes two to three weeks from when you get your vaccine to build up your immune system and be protected from the disease. Experts recommend that for this season, you get your flu shot at the end of October after it provides the most consistent protection against all strains of the virus.
Last year, 179 children died, and thousands more were hospitalized with flu-related illnesses. According to CDC, 80 percent of the children who died had not received a flu vaccination. The vaccine not only reduces a child’s risk of developing severe symptoms but reduces the amount of complication such as pneumonia and death.
What Vaccines Can I Get?
CDC recommends getting the vaccine in the form of a nasal spray or shot. For those who decide to get the shot, there are two options. The first is a trivalent vaccine, protect against two influenzas A strain, H1N1 and H3N2, and one influenza B strain. The second option is the quadrivalent flu vaccine which protects against the same strain as the trivalent, and extra influenza B virus.
Although the AAP recommends getting an injection over the nasal mist, there is also that option. The shot does provide a more consistent protection against the strains of the virus, but due to some children being afraid of vaccines, or further complication, the FluMist nasal spray is available. The spay uses a live weakened virus, meant to teach to the body to recognize and ward off any flu strain that can become infected. Data between 2013 and 2016 did show the stay was not as effective as the shot, particulate against the H1N1 virus, which was responsible for the 2009 Flu pandemic. Yet, doctors do believe it can be a feasible option for children if their doctor runs out of shots. The spray is not recommended for children who have asthma or are immunocompromised.
Can the Vaccine Make Me Sick?
Fortunately, doctors have debunked this myth, meaning no, you can’t get sick from the vaccine. It is possible to get the virus even if you get the vaccine, yes, but the vaccines allow your body to fight it off much quicker. Instead of being sick for five days, you will be six for two, three days max.
People with severe light treating allergies to the flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine should stray away from it. This might include antibiotics, gelatin, or egg since these products are used to create the vaccine. People with a history of egg allergy of any severity should receive any licensed, recommended, and age-appropriate influenza vaccine. If you do decide to get the vaccine, you should be vaccinated in an inpatient or outpatient medical setting under the supervision of a healthcare provider who can recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.
Where Can I Get The Vaccine?
Flu vaccines are offered in many locations including clinics, health departments, doctors offices, college health centers, and pharmacies. Even if you don’t’ have a regular doctor, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else such as an urgent care clinic or your local health department. For easier access? You can always contact Walmart, Target, or a Walgreens or CVS, around your area to see if they have any vaccines available. Some vaccines might even be covered by your insurance. You can also visit the CDC website to find the nearest location available.