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The 2016-17 flu season is right around the corner. For optimal effectiveness, the CDC recommends you get your vaccine in September or October. Call Access Now Urgent Care today to schedule your vaccine appointment: 301-200-2230.

Flu Vaccination Facts

What is flu and why should you get a flu vaccine?
Influenza (flu) is a serious disease caused by a virus. It usually causes fever, headache, muscle aches, runny nose, and sore throat. While most people recover in a few days, some will develop serious complications that can lead to hospitalization and even death. “Flu season” in the United States can begin as early as October and last as late as May. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the chances that you will get seasonal flu and spread it to others. The vaccine can keep you from getting sick with the flu, and it also reduces the risk of serious complications and hospitalization. Even if you do become ill, vaccination will make your illness milder and shorter than usual. Getting vaccinated also protects those around you who may be more vulnerable to complications, like babies, the elderly, and people with chronic health problems.

Who should get vaccinated?
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. It is very important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza: infants, the elderly, pregnant women, and those with underlying medical problems (asthma, diabetes, HIV or cancer).

When should I get vaccinated?
Once each year, before flu season starts. It takes a few weeks for the vaccine to work, so the earlier you get it the better. September or October is ideal, but even later is OK if the season arrives later than usual.

Which vaccine should I get?
In recent years, you had an option of receiving either an injection or a nasal spray. This year, the CDC recommends only using the injection because the nasal spray was found to be ineffective.

Who should NOT be vaccinated?
Children under 6 months, and anyone with a severe life-threatening allergy to the flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine (such as eggs).

What are the side effects of vaccination?
A flu shot cannot give you the flu because the virus in the vaccine has been killed. However, you can get some minor side effects that feel like a mild form of the flu: fever, muscle aches, and a headache. These usually respond well to Tylenol or Motrin and will go away within one to two days. You can also get some soreness or redness where the shot was given. Rarely, flu vaccine can cause serious problems such as allergic reactions.

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Shobhit Arora