Have you had your flu shot yet? Flu vaccines are now available at all three Stellis Health locations. Schedule your flu vaccine in Buffalo, Monticello, or Albertville, Minnesota by contacting Stellis Health today. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends flu vaccines for those 6 months of age or older. Stellis Health offers safe vaccinations and expert medical care for patients who contract the flu during the upcoming winter season.
Are you perhaps worried about some myths you have heard concerning flu shots and influenza? Here are some facts about flu shots that everyone should know.
- Influenza Is a Serious Illness
Influenza, or flu, is sometimes only a minor illness. However, most patients will feel miserable and may miss several days of work, school or other activities. Some people-even those in good health-can get severely ill and require hospitalization. People with the flu commonly suffer from respiratory problems. They may have a cough with or without discharge. More serious breathing difficulties can develop.
Other serious flu symptoms include:
- High fever
- Body aches
- Joint pains
Compared to the suffering the sick endure with flu symptoms, a quick jab with a needle is easy. Remember that flu symptoms may last several weeks. A few minutes at the clinic is nothing in comparison and can save you from missing work and becoming seriously ill.
- Vaccines Target Several Strains of Influenza
Multiple strains of influenza or flu exist. Each year, experts predict which four strains will be the most common flu pathogens to spread among humans. The immunization developers create vaccines designed to protect people from the four strains predicted to cause the most medical problems in the near future. Flu strains are named after the area where they are first identified.
The four strains chosen for the 2019-2020 vaccinations are the following:
- A/Brisbane/02/2018 (H1N1) pdm09-like virus (updated)
- A/Kansas/14/2017 (H3N2)-like virus (updated)
- B/Colorado/06/2017-like (Victoria lineage) virus
- B/Phuket/3073/2013-like (Yamagata lineage) virus
Medical professionals can administer the various flu vaccines in shots or a nasal version known as a Flu Mist. Individual products may offer protection from only one or up to four different flu varieties. Most flu shots include three to four of the strains in their makeup.
The shots provide immunity from flu within two weeks. Even if you catch a different strain than the one your shot covers, your flu symptoms may be less severe due to your fortified immune system.
- Flu Shots Provide Herd Immunity
You may feel strong and healthy. You may be a person who has never suffered from the flu yourself. However, every person who receives a flu shot helps to build their community’s immunity to influenza.
This year could be the year that you do contract a strain of influenza. If you get the flu shot and your body can fight off the virus, you are less likely to spread the disease to others. You help stop the spread of influenza in your social circle and local area.
Some people with weakened immune systems cannot receive the flu vaccines. They are especially vulnerable to the effects of influenza. When you get your flu shot, you help protect the vulnerable community members who are unable to receive the vaccines.
Vulnerable community members include the following:
- Infants and children
- Pregnant women
- People with chronic illnesses
- People with respiratory diseases
The more vaccinations administered, the less likely that the flu will infect high numbers of people.
- Flu Shots Cannot Give You the Flu
You cannot contract strains of influenza by receiving flu shots. However, some people mistakenly think they became ill from a flu shot.
First, you can still contract the flu in the two weeks directly after you get your flu shot. A bit of time must pass for your body to develop the antibodies to fight flu viruses. The shot will not protect you during that interim period.
In some cases, people catch another kind of viral respiratory disease and believe they have caught the flu. If you receive the flu shot and believe you later contracted the flu, visit your health care clinic to receive an accurate diagnosis. Many non-flu viral and bacterial diseases spread from person to person in the winter months.
Your body may feel slightly run down or achy for a few days after you receive a flu shot. This feeling is normal and does not mean you are about to get sick. Your sudden fatigue is due to your body’s immune system working extra hard to make antiviral agents.
Flu shots are now available at all three Stellis Health locations. You may call and make an appointment for a flu shot, or receive one at your next appointment.