The safest, most effective way for you to protect you and your loved ones this flu season is to get a flu shot.
This is especially true for groups at higher risk of experiencing flu-related complications, including people 65 years and older, people with chronic health conditions, people who are pregnant, and children.
With flu season getting underway, now is the perfect time to schedule your flu shot.
What Are the Symptoms of the Flu?
Symptoms of the flu, which usually occur one to three days after exposure, include:
- cough (usually dry)
- sore throat
- runny/stuffy nose
- muscle or body aches
- vomiting and diarrhea
If you’re concerned that these symptoms seem similar to those of COVID-19, this easy-to-use chart highlights the differences between the flu, COVID-19, a cold, and seasonal allergies.
Who Should Get a Flu Shot?
In most cases, people six months and older should get a flu shot prior to the peak of flu season, which typically takes place between October and March.
People 65 years and older tend to be the most adversely affected by the flu. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that in recent years 50-70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations and 70-85% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in those 65 and older.
Because it takes two weeks after being vaccinated to develop antibodies to the flu virus, you should plan to schedule your flu shot as soon as possible.
Is the Flu Shot Safe?
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration works closely with the CDC, public health experts, and drug manufacturers to ensure that the flu vaccine is safe and effective.
FDA oversight of the manufacture and distribution of the flu vaccine is highly rigorous and includes multiple safeguards, including real-time monitoring of vaccine safety as reported by health care providers and patients across the United States.
You can find further information about the safety of the flu vaccine here.
If you’re wondering whether it’s safe to get a flu shot in addition to a COVID-19 shot, Dr. Judith Ford, Medical Director for Clinical Quality at Intermountain Healthcare, has said: “You can absolutely get it at the same time that you get a COVID vaccine, whether it’s your first COVID vaccine, your second COVID vaccine, or your third vaccine if you’re immune-compromised.”
Is the Flu Shot Effective?
According to data from the CDC, during the 2020 flu season, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 7.5 million influenza illnesses, 3.7 million influenza-associated medical visits, 105,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations, and 6,300 influenza-associated deaths.
Research also indicates that the flu vaccine reduces doctor visits by 40-60%.
Where Can I Get a Flu Shot?
Your primary care clinic will be providing flu shots on the dates listed here. You do not need to schedule an appointment. Walk-ins are welcome.
Please note: To be eligible to receive your flu shot, you must be an established patient with a visit to one of Intermountain’s primary care physicians within the past two years.
How Can I Help Prevent the Spread of the Flu?
With the possibility of another COVID-19 surge occurring this winter, it’s more important than ever to be proactive about your health and wellness. Getting a flu shot adds another layer of protection against seasonal illness and significantly reduces the risk to you and your loved ones of experiencing serious illness, hospitalization, or death from the flu.
For more information about scheduling your flu shot, you can also visit our website.
*This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice or diagnosis from a physician or qualified healthcare professional.