Have questions about this winter, COVID-19, and flu shots?
This year, we understand that our patients may have more questions about the flu vaccine in light of the situation with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Read below for some frequently asked questions and answers to help you decide whether you should consider getting your flu shots this fall and winter:
Generally, at the beginning of the fall season is a good time to get vaccinated. Flu season begins as early as October each year, with the number of cases increasing in the following months and peaking in January and February.
For getting the most benefit from a flu vaccine, the CDC recommends getting your annual flu shot before the influenza virus begins to spread. Since the vaccine can take up to 2 weeks to go into effect, we encourage our patients to come in to our clinic as early in the flu season as possible each year.
In general, we recommend our patients get the flu vaccine each year for several reasons which are described by the CDC. This year, because of the COVID-19 outbreak, we believe there is an additional reason to strongly consider getting your flu shot: the possibility of being infected with both flu and COVID-19 at the same time, which would very likely lead to more severe complications and symptoms.
This year’s quadrivalent influenza vaccine covers the following viral strains:
Flu A (H1N1)
Flu A (H3N2)
Flu B Yamagata Lineage
Flu B Victoria Lineage
Because influenza and COVID-19 viruses are distinct, being immunized for one of them will not make you more or less likely to get the other.
That said, getting a flu vaccine this year is an important step to reducing the risk of contracting both viruses at the same time. You can also help limit the spread of flu in a time when others are more vulnerable due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The flu vaccine is made with an inactivated virus and therefore does not cause an infection in patients. Most people find that their arm can be sore for a short time after the vaccination, but a majority of patients experience no other side-effects.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) performs research and testing to develop a safe and effective influenza immunization against the most widespread and dangerous strains. If you are pregnant, have children over 5 months old, or suffer from chronic allergies, please call us today to discuss any questions you might have about flu vaccinations.
Most insurance plans completely cover the cost of the flu vaccine, and we do not collect a co-pay for your clinic visit when getting flu shots. Simply walk-in anytime during our regular clinic hours. If you do not have insurance or your insurance does not cover the flu vaccine, we offer a simple self-pay option of $37.
What about appointments? Our flu vaccine is ready and you can simply walk in to our clinic to get your flu shot today! In light of COVID-19, however, we would ask that you call ahead to let us know you are coming in: 317-960-3278.