As fall slowly turns to winter and the weather gets colder you need to start thinking about the dreaded flu season. Here are the top questions we get about the flu and about getting a flu shot.
When does the flu season officially start?
In North America, flu season actually starts in late August in Canada and the Northeast but, thanks to Arizona’s hot and dry climate, October is usually when the first cases of the flu in Arizona are reported by the CDC.
During last year’s flu season, 145 American children died of the flu, which is 45% more than the national annual average. Anywhere from 5% to 20% of the population contracts the flu virus each year, regardless of age.
What is a flu shot?
The flu shot is a vaccine given with a needle, usually in the arm. It protects against the three or four flu viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.
Where can I get a flu shot?
2016 flu vaccinations are now available at our Mesa and Gilbert pediatric urgent care locations, while supplies last. The cost is only $20 when you use this $5 off coupon.
Who are the most at risk of getting the flu?
Everyone is at risk of getting the flu virus, but elderly people (age 65+), babies, and children age 6 months and older are more at risk than the average adult. It’s important to take the time to vaccinate yourself and your children early in the season, to help avoid spreading the disease to others. While the flu season usually peaks during December, January, and February, it can last well into May.
What if I got a flu shot last year?
The flu virus is constantly changing and evolving. Each year, scientists modify the vaccination to keep up with the latest cultures of the disease, ensuring we are vaccinating patients with the virus strains that will be the most prevalent this year. The CDC has been recommending that everyone six months and older receive a flu shot since February 2010, stressing that it is important to get vaccinated each season, as early as possible.
Will I get the flu from the flu shot?
You cannot get the flu from a flu shot. The flu shot can cause some mild side effects that are sometimes mistaken for flu. For example, people sometimes experience a sore arm where the shot was given or redness or soreness at the injection site. Rarely, people who get the flu shot have a low-grade fever, some general muscle pain, and feelings of weakness. If experienced at all, these effects usually last only one or two days after vaccination and are much less severe than actual flu illness.
What are the risks of getting a flu shot?
The risks associated with flu shots are extremely small. Almost all people who get influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it. Side effects that could occur include soreness or redness where the shot was given, a low grade fever and aches.
More information about the effectiveness of flu shots and whether or not a flu shot can give you the flu, can be found in these studies:
Carolyn Bridges et al. (2000). Effectiveness and cost-benefit of influenza vaccination of healthy working adults: A randomized controlled trial .
Kristin Nichol et al. (1995). The effectiveness of vaccination against influenza in healthy working adults. New England Journal of Medicine. 333(14): 889-893.
2016 Flu Shots
Flu vaccinations are now available at both AllKids Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care and Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care locations while supplies last. Our pediatric providers are experienced with administering care to children of all ages, and will safely administer the vaccine while making your child feel comfortable and safe.
Our offices are open from 12pm-10pm daily and walk-ins are always welcome! Flu shots are only $25 plus you can get $5 off your vaccinations with this coupon!