Flu Shot Debate and Tips to Avoid the Flu

Flu Shots in Palm Beach County

At the beginning of October of every year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta release that year’s new flu shot, specially formulated to prevent the most common projected strains of flu from infecting the population. Although the flu shot is recommended for everyone over 6 months old, there are a few population subgroups who are especially susceptible to the worst effects of the flu – and for them, the vaccine is necessary.

There are a number of misconceptions about influenza, though, and whether the flu shot is worth it. At Urgent Care Of The Palm Beaches, we aim to dispel the myths and provide reliable information about the importance of the flu shot and how it looks when you get a flu shot at one of our clinic locations: Palm Springs/Forest Hill, West Palm Beach or North Palm Beach.


Flu shots available now.

Flu Shot in Palm Springs/Forest Hill Blvd – Call (561) 328-8433

Flu Shot in North Palm Beach/Palm Beach Gardens – Call (561) 429-6109

Flu Shot in West Palm Beach/Palm Beach –  Call (561) 429-4779

Signs and symptoms

Individuals with flu may present with the following symptoms: cough, fever and/ or chills, sore throat, runny nose, muscle and body aches, headaches, fatigue, and in some cases even vomiting and diarrhea.

How does it spread?

Flu is spread mainly by respiratory droplets, made when people with the flu cough, sneeze, or talk. These droplets can also be found on the surface of the objects that the person with the flu has touched.

Anyone can pass the flu to someone else before they become sick .Most healthy adults may be able to infect others starting a day before the symptoms starts, and up to 5 to 7 days after they become sick.

Complications of Flu

Flu may start as a simple upper respiratory infection, but can cause serious complications that will include bacterial pneumonia, sinus infection , dehydration ,worsening of chronic conditions, such as, heart failure, asthma, or diabetes.

People with asthma ,diabetes ,heart disease, stroke, adults over 65 years of age, pregnant woman, people with HIV or AIDS, cancer, and children younger than five, are at high risk for getting the complications of the influenza.

Prevention of the flu

There are good habits that you can follow that can protect you against flu virus:

  1. Avoid close contact with the people who are sick.
  2. If your child or you get sick, stay home and avoid work and school that way you won\’t be spending the virus to others.
  3. When you’re coughing or sneezing try to cover your face with the tissue.
  4. Clean your hands often with soap and water or an alcohol based hand rub. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  5. While at work try to routinely clean frequently touched surfaces like doorknobs, keyboards or phones. This will help prevent the spread of germs. Make sure there’s an adequate supply of soap, tissues, paper towels and/or alcohol-based hand rubs. Also inquire with your employer whether the flu vaccinations offered on-site

Who should get a flu shot?

Influenza is an upper illness caused by influenza virus. It can cause mild to severe illness and at times lead to death. The best way to prevent influenza is to get a flu shot every year.

So far, The single best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated every season.

The flu vaccine is recommended annually for all healthy individuals over 6 months of age who are not deathly allergic to one of the components of the vaccine. There are a few subgroups of people who are particularly susceptible to developing complications associated with the flu, including:

  •    Children under the age of 5 (especially those under the age of 2)
  •    Elderly adults over the age of 65 (especially those living in nursing homes)
  •    Pregnant women

It is necessary to get it annually because the most common strains of flu change every year, and so does the composition of the flu injection. To be clear, the annual influenza vaccine does not work like a booster shot – you’ll be vaccinated against different strains of the flu each year.

 

What does a flu shot do?

First, it’s important to understand our bodies’ immune response. When our body encounters a foreign substance – whether it is bacteria, a virus or something innocuous, like pollen – our immune system responds by first identifying the invader (the “antigen”), then producing B lymphocytes to produce antibodies. The antibodies lock onto the antigen and the body’s T-cells then destroy them.

The antibodies then stay in your body to alert it to any attempted return of the antigen. If it reappears, the body is already prepared to fight it before it becomes an infection – which is why we rarely get chicken pox twice, for example.

This is the same way vaccines and antihistamines work. The influenza vaccine contains antigens from the flu but gives them to you in a way that will not infect you; your body, though, learns to recognize the antigen and is prepared to fight it in case it tries to return.

Getting your flu shot in at Urgent Care of The Palm Beaches ensures that you are protected against the flu. The yearly flu shot is typically effective in reducing the risk of flu in the general population by 40% to 60%, according to the CDC.[1]

What happens if you don’t get a flu shot?

For most people, getting the flu isn’t life-threatening. You might be laid up for a few days with fever, cough and sore throat. But the subgroups listed above – and those who are unable to get the vaccine for other health reasons – are at risk of complications including minor things like sinus and ear infections, to worse things, like bacterial pneumonia, inflammation of the heart or brain, or even death. It turns out that there are between 140,000 and 710,000 hospitalizations a year for flu and between 12,000 and 56,000 deaths, according to the CDC.[2]

What happens after I get my flu shot?

Some people will have what appears to be an immune response – they may get a fever, or nausea the body learns what antigens are present and formulates the appropriate antibodies – but most people will feel no different, although their body is now better prepared to fight the flu.

Getting the flu vaccine will help you keep the most severe symptoms at bay should you get the flu, but more importantly – it means that those who cannot get the vaccine are still protected thanks to herd immunity. And in case you’re wondering, there are no links between autism and the flu vaccine.

When to get vaccinated

The best time for getting a flu shot should be early in the season ideally in October. Getting vaccinated after that can be protective also as long as the flu viruses are circulating.

Everyone six months of age and older should get flu shot every season.

Is it too late to get a flu shot?

It’s never too late to get a flu shot. Even if the season lasts from October to May, you can truly get it any time. So make it painless at any of our locations – in Palm Springs/Forest Hill, West Palm Beach, North Palm Beach – come to Urgent Care of The Palm Beaches and get your flu shot today!

Why is our clinic the best for getting flu shots?

You can get a flu vaccine in Palm Beach County at any number of clinics, but at Urgent Care of The Palm Beaches, there’s no need to make an appointment – you can just stop in any time we are open and get your flu shot. We are committed to ensuring that getting inoculated against the flu doesn’t have to be painful or inconvenient.

Getting your flu shot in one of our clinic locations in Palm Beach County looks like this:

  1.     Come in to our clinic.
  2.     Get your flu shot.
  3.     Pay and leave.

For employers

To minimize absenteeism, employers should consider hosting a flu vaccination clinic in the workplace. Urgent Care of the Palm Beaches does provide such services per request of employers. Please contact us via email at (admin@myucpb.com), call us at 561-429-6109 and ask to talk to our medical director, or go to our website for more information. We provide on-site education and vaccination for our local employers no matter how large or small the employers may be!

Thank you

Urgent care of the Palm Beaches Your Partner in Health

 

[1] https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/vaccineeffect.htm

[2] https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm

 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.