Getting sick always seems to happen at the most inconvenient times. One day you are feeling fine and the next you are experiencing body aches, chills and a fever and calling out of work or canceling the plans you were really looking forward to.
No one wants to get sick, so taking steps toward supporting your immune system can be really helpful at this time of year. One of those steps is getting your annual flu shot.
Our team at AFC Urgent Care NC wants you to stay healthy, so we explain the benefits of getting your annual shot below.
What Does the Flu Shot Do?
You may think that since you got the flu shot last year or in years past, you don’t need to get yours this year. That is not true. While you may have some immunity against some of the circulating flu strains, you aren’t immune to them all! The flu virus mutates and changes every year in order to survive, meaning that the strains that are most common this year are probably new to you.
For that reason, the flu shot is reformulated each year to be a better match against current strains. Getting your flu shot in September or October allows your body to build up those important antibodies against those strains. Once you have those antibodies, they can help fight off illness when you come into contact with the real infection later in the season.
Why Annual Flu Shots Matter
- It reduces your risk of death from the flu.
- It can reduce the number of sick days from a breakthrough case.
- It helps you avoid serious complications.
- It can help with herd immunity.
Will the Flu Shot Help Me Avoid a Serious Flu Infection?
Of course! The flu shot historically is up to 60% effective at helping you avoid the flu entirely. While that is not a 100% guarantee, it will absolutely help control any symptoms that you do have if you experience a breakthrough case. It can even shorten the duration of your illness so you can keep those fun plans that you had for the weekend!
Getting your flu shot can protect you from suffering an extreme inflammatory response. Some people’s immune systems respond really negatively to the flu and can experience myocarditis or inflammation of the brain or muscle tissue. This can lead to sepsis and even death. Taking the few minutes out of your day to get vaccinated can help you avoid this and stay healthy all season.
Helpful Tips to Be Flu-Smart This Year
- Get your annual flu shot.
- Wash hands regularly for 20 seconds each time.
- Avoid others if they are sick.
- Eat well and stay hydrated.
- Make sleep a priority.
Come see us any day of the week for your flu shot at one of our AFC Urgent Care NC locations.