Fall. Autumn. Back-to-School. Whatever you call this season, NOW is a great time to start thinking about flu prevention. The flu shot is your insurance policy to take care of yourself and those closest to you! Get your flu shot on the calendar today—and set yourself up for a flu-free season.
Should I get the flu shot?
Anybody can catch the flu. That is why the CDC recommends that everyone over 6 months old receives the flu shot. Children under 9 who have never received the vaccine will need two doses, separated by a minimum of 4 weeks. The flu shot is not 100% effective, but any defense against the flu is crucial to your best chance of faster recovery and avoidance of hospitalization. Any extra prevention is helpful. In addition, there is good evidence that even when the flu shot does not prevent acquisition of influenza, it does mitigate the severity of the illness.
When should I do it?
We recommend as soon as possible, though it is never too late. We are pleased to offer the flu shot every year, as early as September, knowing that the flu peak in the Bay Area is usually around December-February.
Will my flu shots be safe?
Yes. That said, do not get the vaccine if you have a moderate or severe illness with a fever or a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome within six weeks of prior flu vaccination. In cases where you have had a prior reaction to the flu vaccine, we recommend you check in with your primary care provider about your options.
What flu shots does Discover Health offer for me?
The combined H1N1/seasonal influenza vaccination is the vaccination that we offer during flu season. This year, will be offering FluBlok, which can be administered to patients with chicken egg allergies and sensitivities.
What else can I do?
To be proactive about protecting your health, here are steps you can take that empower you in addition to the smart decision to book your flu shot.
- Wash your hands often or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Take steps to manage daily stress. Stress is known to compromise the immune system, which can make you more susceptible to illness. Contact the office for any questions about our stress management services.
- Consider taking a probiotic or incorporating foods with probiotics into your diet. Kimchi, kefir, and yoghurt are some examples that would offer benefits for your immune system.
- Get your vitamin D tested. Vitamin D deficiency increases your susceptibility to infections. Contact the office to book an appointment with one of our doctors.