In light of COVID-19, we have completely redesigned flushot.org to better serve the unique and unprecedented need for the most vulnerable patients to safely get their flu shot at clinics going above and beyond “standard” safety measures.
Until the conclusion of this public health emergency, we are dedicated to assist patients who are more at-risk for COVID-19 related complications with clinics that are going the extra mile in cleanliness, safety protocols, and more.
It’s a familiar scene: You’re in the reception area of a medical office, waiting to receive your annual flu shot. Someone in the same room coughs. In the age of coronavirus, you wonder: Is this person positive -- and could I be infected while I’m here?
We screen clinics for the highest standards in protocol for cleanliness and other methods to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Those that meet our stringent criteria are connected with you, the patient, giving you more peace of mind when you go out to be vaccinated against influenza.
Flushot.org matches patients who need a flu shot with highly vetted clinics in their area. This site is a vital, comprehensive resource for patients who need the influenza vaccine and yet are concerned about staying safe when they spend time in public to do so. It’s a particularly vital aid for people more at risk for complications from the flu, COVID-19 and other illnesses.
Health clinics screen patients for suitability for treatment all the time. Now, we’ve done that with medical sites on your behalf. Among the things we ask:
Receiving a flu shot causes your body to develop antibodies within about two weeks. Antibodies offer protection against infection with the viruses used to make the vaccine, the CDC reports. Research dictates which influenza viruses will be fought by the flu shot each year so that patients are protected against the most common ones.
What’s key is that almost everyone from age 6 months and older gets a flu shot each year. While different vaccines are approved for different age groups, sometimes it is recommended that certain groups of people not get immunized. These factors include a person’s age, current and past health, and any allergies with the vaccine or associated components.
Timing also is important. The CDC recommends that patients get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begin to spread in their area, typically early in the fall before flu season even begins. This means that everyone should be vaccinated before the end of October each year. Typically, flu shots are offered throughout the season into January or beyond.
As to where you can receive a flu shot, flushot.org is here to help. We connect you with the best clinics that have the vaccine. Most Americans receive their annual vaccination in a clinic, doctor’s office, pharmacy, health department, at work, or at a college health center.
What most of us commonly call the “flu” actually is a stomach bug that can involve a fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and similar symptoms. Influenza, however, is not gastroenteritis; it is a contagious respiratory illness. Influenza viruses invade the nose, throat, and sometimes the lungs. This is the illness for which the flu vaccine is designed.
Influenza can cause mild to severe illness and, sometimes, can lead to death. Its symptoms include:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Millions of people get the flu annually and hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized due to this virus. Vaccination is the best way to help protect against the flu.
The best protection you can have against getting influenza is the flu shot. Your immune system needs the boost. In addition, despite previous inoculations, your protection can wane or not address new strains of flu viruses.
In the age of COVID-19, it’s even more important to get a flu shot. That’s not because flu vaccines fight coronavirus; they do not. Instead, it’s a simple matter of trying to stay as healthy as possible in case your body is called upon to fight COVID-19. An immune system weakened by an illness such as the flu is more susceptible to other health threats, including coronavirus. Doing all you can to stay strong as the COVID-19 pandemic spreads includes getting your annual flu shot.
Don’t forget, though, that a flu shot isn’t a guarantee that you won’t get the seasonal flu. Sometimes, people are exposed to a flu virus before getting the vaccine, and you also may be exposed to a version of the flu that is not part of the annual vaccine. There are many kinds of flu viruses that make the rounds each year, and a flu shot does not protect against every single one. Finally, despite getting a flu shot, some people still become ill due to factors such as other health issues and age.
We’ve all likely heard people say that receiving the influenza vaccination “gave me the flu.” That cannot happen, the CDC assures Americans.
When a flu vaccine is administered via needle, it has been made in one of two ways: either with flu vaccine viruses that have been killed or inactivated so that they are not infectious; or with proteins from a flu vaccine virus and not viruses, the CDC reports. The weakened viruses can only cause infection at cooler temperatures found within the nose and, remember, these are given by needle in a patient’s arm. Where warmer temperatures in the body exist -- such as the lungs -- the viruses used in the shot cannot cause infection.
There are some side effects related to receiving a flu shot. Sometimes there is soreness, redness and/or swelling where the shot was given. Some patients experience headache or fever, muscle aches, nausea or fatigue. These issues typically are not severe and do not last long.