You’ve probably seen the signs popping up as the weather cools off. Whether the sign is out front of a walk-in clinic, a flu shot clinic or a pharmacy, you’ve probably noticed that it is flu shot immunization season.
Thousands of Canadians have died from the flu over the past few years. And while there may be an absurd debate raging about whether or not kids should get immunization shots for fear of causing autism, family medicine doctors all agree that the elderly should receive flu shots every year. They also all agree that the flu shots should be taken the right way in order to properly immunize the elderly from the flu for the entire season.
The Height Of The Flu Season
Influenza rears its ugly head when the weather turns colder, but it really gets bad during the months January through April. But you should always check with your doctor because each year, the flu season changes just a bit. While the flu is detectable all year long, it is usually wreaking havoc in the fall and winter months. It can even extend its reach into May, but that is fairly rare.
The Elderly Should Wait A Month Or More To Sustain The Season
Most people start getting their flu shots before Halloween, but experts warn that those 65 or older should wait until between Halloween and Thanksgiving. The reason is that older immune systems do not respond as well to the flu vaccine, letting the positive effects of the shot wear off quicker than younger bodies. So, in order to have protection through the peak of the flu season, elderly patients should delay their shot a month or more.
There’s Flu In That Flu Shot, But Don’t Worry
The vaccine works like this — a small bit of a dead flu virus is injected into you. Your body then goes to work learning about the virus and creating anti-bodies. These anti-bodies are then ready to identify and destroy the next bout of the flu that may enter your body. Essentially, you are giving your immune system instructions on how to defeat the foe flu.
But many believe that you can actually get the flu from the vaccine itself. While it is true that you may feel a fever as your body fights the vaccine dose, you will not get the flu itself. In the end, it is worth any mild discomfort to protect yourself from a potentially deadly virus.
There are many strands of the flu and you may still get the virus even if you’ve been immunized. But the flu shot will allow your body to fight the illness more effectively, making you less sick and less likely to visit the hospital. Visit Vital Care Medical if you would like to learn more.