Phoenix Family Medical Clinic strongly believes in providing flu shots for our patients to prevent the flu. We have this season's Flu Shots at all our clinic. Seasonal influenza may cause three to five million cases of severe illness and up to 500,000 deaths per year worldwide. Vaccination against influenza is considered one of the most effective ways of preventing mortality, complications and hospitalizations. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that children six months of age and older and adults receive an influenza shot annually. More information about seasonal influenza can be found at http://flu.gov and http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2012-2013.htm.
How effective is the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is the best protection against the flu this season. If you get the flu vaccine, you are 60% less likely to need treatment for the flu by a healthcare provider. Getting the vaccine has been shown to offer substantial other benefits including reducing illness, antibiotic use, time lost from work, hospitalizations, and deaths.
How long is my flu vaccination good for?
The flu vaccine will protect you for one flu season.
Does the flu vaccine work right away?
It takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus infection. In the meantime, you are still at risk for getting the flu. That's why it's better to get vaccinated early in the fall, before the flu season really gets under way.
Is the vaccine safe?
Seasonal flu vaccines have a very good safety track record. Although there are possible side-effects to vaccination, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration closely monitor the safety of seasonal flu vaccines.
Should I get the flu vaccine if I'm not feeling well?
If you are sick with a fever, you should wait until your fever is gone before getting a flu shot. However, you can get a flu shot if you have a respiratory illness without a fever, or if you have another mild illness.
The flu vaccine can be given to people with minor illnesses, such as:
- a mild upper respiratory tract infection, with or without a fever.
If you have nasal congestion, you should consider waiting to get the flu vaccine. Nasal congestion may limit the vaccine's ability to reach the nasal lining.
Are there side effects?
Mild side effects usually begin soon after you get the vaccine and last one to two days. Possible mild side effects of the flu shot include:
- Soreness, redness, and swelling at the injection site
- Fainting, mainly in adolescents
Possible mild side effects of the nasal spray include:
- Runny nose
- Muscle aches
Serious side effects usually begin within a few minutes to a few hours after receiving the shot. Possible serious side effects of vaccination include:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling around the eyes or lips
- Racing heart
- Behavior changes
- High fever
If you experience any of these reactions, call us at Phoenix Family Medical Clinic immediately.
Can I get the flu from the vaccine?
No, you cannot get the flu from the flu shot. The flu shot contains inactivated (killed) flu viruses that cannot cause illness. The viruses cannot infect the lungs or other areas in the body where warmer temperatures exist.