it's flu shot time

It’s that time of year again! 2021 is not an average year. In a typical year, the flu season starts in November and lasts throughout the winter. This summer, kids were testing positive for influenza.

Influenza causes high fever (104F), severe cough, dehydration, fatigue, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms will typically last for seven to ten days. Medicine is available to treat influenza. Treatment is helpful when the infection is treated with the first 24 – 48 hours. All medication has side effects and is typically expensive. In my opinion, the best option is influenza vaccination.

We only provide the injectable influenza vaccine. In my experience, this vaccine causes far fewer side effects. The nasal vaccine is a live virus. The nasal vaccine provided in school can commonly cause children to develop a mild case of the flu. The injectable vaccine is not a live virus. This vaccine does not carry the same risk.

Many adults report getting the flu after vaccination. These symptoms typically lasted 2-3 days. There are many possible explanations for this observation. In times past, we used a live injectable influenza vaccine. This vaccine (like the nasal vaccine) had the potential to cause a milder flu-like illness. Those who reported these side effects had gotten their vaccination in the middle of the flu season. They typically were infected with the actual flu virus at the time of their infection.

Indeed, the flu vaccine is typically 50% effective at preventing disease. The 2019-2020 flu season (before COVID), caused an estimated 39 million to 56 million cases, 410,000 to 740,000 hospitalizations and 24,000 to 62,000 deaths. People with underlying diseases like asthma or heart disease are at much higher risk of hospitalization and fatality. Influenza vaccination is far less risky than the disease. As a healthcare provider, I receive the influenza vaccine every year. I have never reacted. I have caught the flu one time. It lasted less than 48 hours.

Let’s not have this year’s holiday gift be influenza. Protect yourself and your family from this potentially deadly disease. Walk Into my office any day after 3 pm.