Getting a flu shot significantly lowers your risk of having seasonal flu and possibly ending up in the hospital. Find out how these shots help protect you from this viral illness.
Seasonal flu goes around each year in fall and winter. This virus affects your respiratory system and can cause serious complications, such as pneumonia. Flu shots help reduce your risk of getting the flu. If you plan to go to your local family health center for these shots, learn more about how they work and how they are able to provide safe and effective protection from seasonal flu.
Targeted Flu Shots
Flu shots do not provide general protection from all strains of seasonal flu. During each flu season, certain strains are more prevalent than others. Scientists determine which strains pose the highest threat and make vaccinations that specifically target these strains. When you receive your flu shot, you are receiving an updated version of the vaccination that contains slightly different components. This version provides you with improved protection against the strains that are more common during the current flu season.
2017-2018 Flu Shot
The flu vaccines for this year’s flu season include trivalent vaccines and quadrivalent vaccines. Trivalent vaccines protect you from three flu strains, including two A strains and one B strain. Quadrivalent vaccines protect you from two A and two B strains. For this flu season, the trivalent vaccines include an H1N1-like virus and an H3N2-like virus, as well as a B/Victoria lineage virus. The quadrivalent vaccine guards against these strains and also contains B/Yamagata lineage virus. Scientists determine which strains to include based on different factors, such as data on flu outbreaks, genetic research on flu strains, and the effectiveness of certain vaccines.
Yearly Flu Shot
In order for you to get the protection you need from seasonal flu, it is important to get a shot each year. A flu shot from last year will not lower your risk of coming down with the flu this year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends flu shots for everyone over six months old, especially those who have a higher risk of complications, such as those over 65 and those with weaker immune systems.
Flu Shot Safety
Flu shots are considered a safe method of reducing your risk of contracting the flu. These vaccines do not contain live viruses that will make you ill, and you should not experience any major side effects unless you have an egg allergy. If you do have this allergy, you can request a flu shot that does not contain eggs.
Keep in mind that you might experience some redness and slight soreness at the shot site, which is temporary. You might also have a low-grade fever, but this should not last long. If you have any other concerns about flu shots, you can discuss them with your primary care physician.
If you are searching for a wellness center near me for flu shots, you can contact KentuckyCare at 877-791-9154. We offer flu shots and other vaccinations for patients in Kentucky.