The Christmas Holiday is quickly approaching. Which means many of us will be out and about more than normal and exposed to more germs than normal. It’s a yearly debate at my house, who will and won’t get their flu shot. We talk with Dr. Dwight Hood about flu season and how to stay protected.
Dr. Dwight Hood says, “the flu is a serious illness and the best way to protect yourself is to get the vaccine, people tell me that when they have the flu in the past they never want to feel that badly again, they will definitely get the flu shot.” And he is right, you’ve ever had the flu without the flu shot, it’s not something you want a repeat performance of. “The flu shot itself doesn’t give you the flu.” The most at risk of getting the flu is anyone with a chronic problem with their immune system, anyone who is in the health care field, and anyone who cares for someone with a chronic problem, “basically there’s few people that don’t need the immunization.” So Dr. Hood says get your flu shot. “It gives you certain protection from the flu virus. This year it protects you from three or four different kinds of strains depending on which vaccine you get. Is it 100% effective as far as preventing the flu? No.” Dr. Hood says the peaks they usually see are December and February.
So many of you may be asking the same question, “Is it too late now to get a flu shot? No, not at all. Usually it takes about two weeks before things kick in as far as you being protected against different strains of the flu that are in the shot.”
If you do start to feel icky above and beyond a cold, go to the doctor. “Tamiflu if you get started on it in the first 48 to 72 hours of developing symptoms it will lesson the length of the illness by about a day. Is it going to make you feel better? No. You are still going to feel bad but you will feel bad for a shorter length of time.”
If you still need your flu shot, most pharmacies still have them or you can go see your Primary Care Physician.