It's time to get a flu shot

Oct 11, 2019

Every year, the flu causes illness and death in the U.S. The good news is, there are preventable measures you can take that will make you less likely to catch it!

People with a higher risk of catching the flu are young children and seniors. Immune systems are still developing in children, and adults 65 and older experience a weaker immune system with age.

According to the CDC, there were 531,000-647,000 flu-related hospitalizations and 36,400-61,200 flu-related deaths in the U.S. during the 2018-2019 flu season.

To prevent flu this season, everyone six months and older should get a flu vaccination – preferably by Oct. 31, before flu season takes off.

A flu shot contains inactivated viruses, not capable of causing the flu, that research implies will be most common during the upcoming season. After vaccination, antibodies begin to develop that may protect the recipient from influenza.

Influenza is a viral infection of the lungs, nose and throat. Unlike the common cold, flu symptoms can come on suddenly and may involve a high fever, body aches, chest discomfort, cough, headache, fatigue, sore throat, and stuffy nose.

In addition to getting a vaccine, you can take daily measures to prevent the flu. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water, avoid touching your nose, mouth, and eyes, eat a balanced diet, and get enough sleep and exercise.

The flu shot can’t make you sick. However, mild side effects may last up to three days and can include soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site, and sometimes body aches, headache or fatigue.

People who have had a severe reaction to the flu shot in the past or those with a medical exception should not receive a flu shot. These patients should talk to their doctor about what’s right for them.

If you’re a Family Care Network patient and haven’t received your flu shot yet, same-day appointments or a flu shot clinic may be available. Please call your clinic for more information.

If you need a doctor, please visit