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Does the Flu Shot Really Work?

Scheduling a flu shot each year before the height of flu season is an essential part of preventive health care. While we’re still deep in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever to get the seasonal flu shot for yourself and your family members.

Family practitioner, John Moran, MD, offers the flu shot at More MD to reduce your risk of severe flu symptoms. Because people of all ages are susceptible to the influenza virus, early vaccination can protect your family’s health.

Getting the vaccine also helps slow the spread of the flu and allows essential medical workers the opportunity to focus on the continued fight against COVID-19.

The basics of the flu 

The influenza virus is a contagious respiratory illness that affects your throat and nose and may also cause issues with your lungs. The flu virus spread in tiny droplets that you produce when you talk, cough, or sneeze. It’s also possible to pick up the virus by touching an infected surface then touching your face.

Symptoms of the flu can range from mild to severe and in some cases, can prove life-threatening.

Common flu symptoms include:

It’s estimated that 8%-11% of the population in the United States gets the flu each year. Those who appear to develop the most severe symptoms are people 65 and older, young children, and those with compromised immune systems.

How the flu shot works

When you receive your seasonal flu shot, it prompts your body to produce antibodies in about two weeks after your vaccination. Your immune system makes antibodies to protect you against the viral infection

The quadrivalent flu vaccine issued in theUS protects against the strain of viruses that are estimated to be the most common during the upcoming flu season. Typically, vaccines protect against four different flu viruses including influenza A (H1N1), influenza A (H3N2), and two varieties of the influenza B virus.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) recommends that anyone over the age of 6 months receive the flu vaccine each year before the flu season begins. Dr. Moran and the More MD team offers flu shots starting early in the fall and recommends you receive yours before the end of October.

Understanding flu shot effectiveness

The effectiveness of the flu shot varies from one season to the next but generally the vaccination is highly effective at reducing your risk for being infected with specific strains of the flu.

It’s possible that you receive the vaccination and still develop an infection from another flu strain that isn’t affected by the vaccine.

If you have concerns about the safety of the flu shot for yourself or your family members, be sure to discuss your concerns with Dr. Moran and the More MD team before deciding against the vaccine. Seasonal flu shots are thoroughly tested for safety before being made available to the public.

Schedule your family’s seasonal flu shot by calling the More MD office nearest you or by requesting an appointment through the online booking system today.

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