Get the Shot, Not the Flu
Flu season is quickly approaching and it is important to understand the benefits of a flu vaccine for you and your family. A flu vaccine can reduce illness, antibiotic use, doctors’ visits and time lost from work and school.
UNCPN practices offer several opportunities to get your flu shot in a location convenient to you. You may also schedule an appointment at any of our practices.
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What is the Flu?
Flu is short for influenza, a contagious respiratory illness that infects the nose, throat and lungs. It can make you feel awful. Severe cases can even lead to death.
Why do I need a flu shot every year?
The single best way to protect against influenza is to get vaccinated each year. A yearly flu vaccination is needed because immunity against the flu wears off over time. In addition, flu virus strains often change, so the vaccine also changes each year to match the flu viruses expected to be circulating in the community.
Who should get a flu shot?
To reduce the risk of becoming sick with influenza, every person 6 months of age and older should get the influenza vaccine.
When is flu season and when should I get my flu vaccine?
Flu season begins in September and generally ends in March. We recommend that you receive your flu shot this fall.
Who should NOT get vaccinated?
Some people should talk with a doctor first before getting a flu shot, including:
- People who have a severe allergy to eggs or life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any of its ingredients
- People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination
- Children less than 6 months old
- People who have developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine
- People who have a moderate to severe illness or are feeling sick
What are the side effects of being vaccinated?
You might experience some minor side effects after getting a flu shot, including but not limited to:
- Soreness, redness or swelling of the skin where you got the shot
- Low-grade fever
- Body aches
If you feel any of these side effects, you should feel better within 1 to 2 days. If not please report any side effects to your doctor.