Flu season is coming up fast and it is time to get your annual influenza vaccine otherwise known as your flu shot. We asked Dr. Jason Kessler the answers to some common questions and myths around getting the flu shot.

Why should I get the flu shot?
Every year people prevent unnecessary hospitalizations and missing days of work by getting their flu shot. Flu is more dangerous to those with chronic diseases, pregnant women, the elderly, and small children. Even if you don’t have one of those risk factors, it is likely you come in contact with someone who does. Getting your flu shot not only protects you but those you work with and care for.

Should I wait to get my flu shot until flu season so it will protect me all winter?
It is best to get your flu shot before the end of October so that it will protect you all winter. Getting the flu shot too late leaves you vulnerable to the flu when the virus starts going around in early Fall.

Can I get the flu from the flu shot?
It is impossible to get the flu from a flu shot! Flu shots do have some side effects such as low-grade fever and body aches.

Last year I got a flu vaccine but I still got the flu a couple months later. Does that mean the vaccine didn’t work?
Some people who get the flu vaccine still get sick during the flu season. When people do get sick with flu after being vaccinated they usually have milder symptoms.

Is the flu vaccine safe?
Millions of people around the world safely get flu shots each year. The CDC and FDA work together to ensure each vaccine is safe for patients. For more information about the vaccine check out this website: www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/vaccine/vaccinesafety.htm.

Call your Primary Health Care Clinic to schedule a time to come in and get your flu shot, or ask your provider about getting your flu shot at your next appointment.