Kids & Family Health

A Flu Shot Is Your Best Protection Against Seasonal Flu

Even as we remain in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, flu season is fast approaching. This period, which typically occurs between November and March, means a significantly increased risk of infection by the flu virus. Experts strongly recommend you get a flu shot in preparation, potentially saving yourself a lot of trouble down the road.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), September and October are good times to get vaccinated against the flu. But there are some considerations about who should get the vaccine and when:

  • Adults 65 and older should get vaccinated as early as possible. Check with your provider to see when the vaccine becomes available. AltaMed will begin distributing flu shots in late August. 
  • Children can get vaccinated as soon as it becomes available. Some children need two doses which is determined by your pediatrician or provider.
  • People in their third trimester of pregnancy should also get vaccinated early to protect their infants.
woman being injected

Why Get Vaccinated?

The flu can be serious, leading to hospitalization and even death. It affects millions of people every year, and the symptoms can range widely from a few days of feeling poorly and missing work to serious illness.

The flu can also lead to complications such as:

  • Bacterial pneumonia
  • Ear infections
  • Sinus infections

It can also make chronic conditions like asthma, congestive heart failure, and diabetes, worse. Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to prevent this.

family cooking

Not Just for You

You may not have any of these conditions. You may be the picture of health. The flu, however, is highly contagious.

Most experts believe flu viruses spread by tiny droplets that are created when people infected with the flu cough, sneeze, or talk. The droplets can land in the mouths or noses of nearby people. It’s less common for it to be transmitted from touching the surfaces where those droplets land.

So, should you get infected with the flu, you are taking it home to everyone who lives with you. That includes children, grandchildren, grandparents, siblings, etc. Some people, like the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, are more susceptible than others.

It is still possible to get sick from the flu despite getting your shot. However, the severity of the sickness can be lessened from being vaccinated.

Child With a Doctor

This Year’s Vaccine

This year’s shot is expected to offer protection against at least four of the influenza viruses that will be circulating this flu season. While it is possible to be infected by a different strain, it is still your best chance of avoiding serious complications from infection.

A flu vaccine is recommended for everyone six months old or older. With COVID-19 still circulating, preventing the flu will help keep your immune system from being compromised which — in combination with the COVID vaccine — can keep you from contracting coronavirus as well.

Get Your Free Shots at AltaMed

Get vaccinated today against the flu virus at your nearest AltaMed medical center to protect yourself and your family. To schedule a flu shot, please call (888) 499-9303. See hours and locations for clinics near you.

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A Flu Shot Is Your Best Protection Against Seasonal Flu