Times have changed!  I remember when my mother, an RN and Director of Nursing would bring a flu shot form work home for me (I hid under the bed more than once, she always found me).  Or,  you'd need an appointment at the clinic.  Now, you can get a flu shot while your picking up a pork loin.  Or, get a new pair of jeans and some cat litter and a flu shot.  But should you?  Here are some answers to commonly asked questions about flu shots.

 

QUESTION:  IS INFLUENZA (FLU) A SERIOUS ILLNESS?

Yes, it can be, that's why it's important for people to consider a flu shot or something new,  a nasal spray.  It will reduce your chances of getting and spreading the seasonal flu.  For elderly and the very young some strains of influenza can be deadly.

QUESTION:  DOES THE MEDICINE START WORKING RIGHT AWAY?

This is how a flu vaccine works.  About two weeks after you receive the injection, antibodies develop and provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.  That's why it's important to get your flu shot early in the season.   It's kinda like being injected with little body protectors.

QUESTION:  I'VE HEARD PEOPLE SAY THEY DON'T KNOW IF THE FLU SHOT WILL WORK ON THE FLU THEY HAVE.  WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

They do research every year to see which strains of the flu virus will be most prominent.  Then, the top three are combined in one and used in a single flu vaccine.

QUESTION:  IF I GET THE FLU SHOT, IS IT A GUARANTEE THAT I WON'T GET SICK?

There are no guarantees, you can still get the seasonal flu.  There are a couple of variables involved when it comes to the protection you'll get from the flu vaccine, your age and health status and if the vaccine they chose to provide to the public is the strain that is the problem.

QUESTION:  DO I HAVE TO GO TO THE DOCTOR TO GET THE SHOT?

As I mentioned earlier, flu shots are available in a multitude of locations, the most logical, doctor's offices, clinics and hospitals.  But now, also in unconventional places, like department and grocery stores.