Have you had your flu shot?

 

Hey Fort Mill!  Let’s talk flu shots….

 

This season, the flu vaccine is more important than ever.  We expect to see an increased number of people to present with respiratory symptoms in the fall and winter each year.  2020-2021 be dually challenging, given the overlap of symptoms of Influenza and Covid-19.  It is also likely that people could have both, making the risk of more severe illness and hospitalizations greater.

 

Every person over the age of 6 months should get a flu shot.  There are formulations  manufactured without egg products, so the worry of egg-allergy should not be a reason to abstain from a flu shot.  Anyone with chronic illness, pregnant women, and extremes of age are more likely to be hospitalized, so we all need to do our part to keep each other safe.

 

While the flu shot is not 100% effective, it is protective and effective.  I tell my patients this – I know that if you get a flu shot, it will be about 60-70% effective at preventing flu.  If you still get the flu afterwards, it is less likely to be severe and you are less likely to be hospitalized or have complications.  This will get you back to work/school sooner, reduce community spread, and keep you out of the ER or hospital, which are the last places you want to be during a pandemic.

 

When you get a flu shot, you may experience muscle soreness or feel run down for a day or two.  This means your body is reacting appropriately.  The flu vaccine is killed virus – you cannot get the flu from the flu shot!  Most people go on with their day and do not experience side effects afterwards.

 

Take proper precautions as we have been during the pandemic.  Our hope is to contain both Covid-19 and influenza as much as possible – please continue to wash hands regularly, wear a mask that covers both your mouth and nose, and social distance.  This will protect you, your family and your neighbors as much as possible during this unique and uncertain season.

 

At New South Family Medicine, we provide our patients flu vaccines for $25.  If you have insurance, most pharmacies can provide this free of charge.  Don’t forget to update your tetanus and discuss other preventive vaccinations with your primary care physician.  We discuss this at every well visit for patients of all ages!

 

If you have further questions or comments, please feel free to email me directly at info@newsouthfamilymedicine.com.  We follow all vaccination recommendations as per the CDC, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Family Physicians.

 

Stay safe this winter!

Dr. Mendelsohn