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The Importance of Getting Your Flu Shot Early

It’s September, and that means fall is here along with the start of the flu and cold season. This year, the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) gives the flu season an added challenge. Now is the time to get the flu shot and protect yourself and your family all season long. 

At Health First Primary Care, our care team understands the importance of preventive action. Led by Gisela Vargas, MD, we offer vaccinations as part of our comprehensive line of services

The flu shot is an important vaccine that can keep you healthy this flu season. Read on to learn why it’s essential to get this vaccine early!

Who should get a flu shot?

The CDC recommends every person six months and older get a flu vaccine every year. Everyone can get the flu, and since flu strains evolve over time, the vaccine you got last year won’t protect you against this year’s virus. 

A flu shot helps you avoid contracting influenza, and only young babies and people with life-threatening allergies to the ingredients in the vaccine should avoid the flu shot. Everyone else should be vaccinated.

Why get your flu shot early?

This year, it’s more important than ever to get your flu shot early. Because hospitals and medical providers are stretched thin by COVID-19, it’s especially essential to slow the spread of the flu. The more time your body has to produce antibodies, the better protected you are all flu season long.

According to the CDC, it takes about two weeks for your body to produce antibodies to protect you from the virus after you’ve been vaccinated. Scheduling your flu vaccine in September or October offers you the most effective protection — before flu season heats up in the winter and into the spring. 

Won’t the flu shot make me sick?

Getting sick from the flu shot is a common misconception. Fortunately, it’s not true. The truth is the flu shot protects you from the virus; it doesn’t make you sick.

The influenza vaccine you receive is created either from dead viruses or a single gene of a virus. Dead viruses are inactive, so they don’t cause illness, and single-gene vaccines cause an immune response without causing illness.

You can experience side effects from the flu shot, but most are mild and include soreness or swelling at the injection site. Some people also experience minor fatigue or muscle aches within a day of receiving the shot, but they subside quickly.

Don’t wait to get your flu shot! Contact Health First Primary Care by contacting the Tampa office nearest you today!

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