Have you gotten your flu shot yet? The CDC recommends that everyone get vaccinated before the end of October. It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against flu, so getting vaccinated before flu season begins is the best policy.
Who should get a flu shot? Everyone over six months old should be vaccinated. Children under five and the elderly are at a higher risk for complications from the flu, so flu shots are especially recommended for them. If you’re pregnant, the vaccine will also offer immunity to your child several months after birth.
Does the flu shot give you the flu? The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu- the virus inside the vaccine has been inactivated (killed).
How much does a flu shot cost? Flu shots are considered preventative care and therefore covered by most insurance plans. For those that aren’t covered under insurance, Integrity Urgent Care is offering flu shots this season for only $25!
What other ways can I prevent the flu and other illnesses?
- Avoid touching your face. Germs most readily enter your body through your mouth, nose, and eyes. On average, adults touch their face 15 times an hour.
- Use hand sanitizer. It can be as effective as hand washing if used effectively. Be sure to use at least a dime-sized amount; your hands should still feel wet ten seconds after application. Choose a formula with at least 60 percent alcohol- anything less isn’t effective and may actually encourage bacterial growth.
- Disinfect frequently touched surfaces in your home, especially if a family member has been sick. Remote controls, light switches, door knobs, and faucets are a good starting point. Any cleaning agent that contains alcohol will kill germs- even alcohol-based hand wipes will do the trick. Flu viruses can live on surfaces up to eight hours.
- If possible, avoid frequently touched public surfaces. Use a paper towel to open the restroom door, carry your own pen, and use a napkin to cover utensils at the buffet line. When touching a surface in unavoidable, wash your hands your use hand sanitizer afterwards (ATM PIN pads, door handles, hand rails, etc.).
- Get enough sleep. One study found that “people who sleep only 5 to 6 hours a night have a 30% chance of catching a cold when exposed to the virus; those who get more than 7 hours reduce their risk to 17%”.
Be sure to protect you and your family from the flu this season and get vaccinated! Flu shots are available at Integrity Urgent Care for only $25 (or free with many insurance plans). We’re open from 8 am – 8 pm every day and no appointment is necessary! Click here to find a location near you.
Sources: parents.com (Numerous Articles), https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2015/08/131411/short-sleepers-are-four-times-more-likely-catch-cold, cdc.gov- “Hand Washing Tips”, prevention.com “Cold and Flu Prevention Strategies”, https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/09/29/q-basics-flu-shots/91293024/