Get your flu shot!

  • Get your flu shot!

Get your flu shot!

"Contrary to persistent myths, getting the vaccine cannot make you sick (the virus is not active in the vaccine), but it can prevent you from being sick for a week or more if you happen to get the flu".

"The flu vaccine is the most effective way to protect yourself from catching the flu this season", Papatya Tankut, R.Ph, Vice President of Pharmacy Affairs at CVS Health tells Bustle via email.

The flu vaccine is safe during all stages of pregnancy, and not only helps protect women against catching flu, but can also help protect their unborn child for up to six months after birth.

It takes approximately two weeks following vaccination to develop maximum protection against flu. No appointments are necessary; however, people should indicate to the registration officer at the clinics that they need to have the flu shot.

Last year, about 8,800 flu patients came through Carilion's system, with the Roanoke area experiencing it's peak in flu cases the week between Christmas and New Year's Day.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza runs most severely rampant from October to May, which means we are now well into the first month of flu season.

The agency is encouraging all those over 65 years old to get the vaccine and talk to their health care providers about which may be best for them. "We think that people do have a good amount of immunity against H3N2, which we've had for the last two seasons".

But as the country moves closer to winter, Canadians can expect the sounds of sneezing and hacking to ratchet up as the annual flu fest gets fully underway, say public health physicians, who would like to see the number of Canadians laid low by the virus dramatically curtailed.

The exception to the rule would be if you were running a significant fever, more than 38C, this would be enough to put off the flu jab for now.

Although locally it was a typical season, it's still important to prepare for the worst. Protect strangers you walk past on campus. If you're prone to stress, finding ways to manage its effects - such as incorporating mindfulness meditation into your daily routine, and making sure you're practicing self-care like eating well and sleeping - can help make you more resilient against illnesses like the flu.

However when you have just a mild illness, such as a cold, there is no reason to wait to get vaccinated. "(The vaccine) reduces how severe the virus is and reduces the likelihood of passing it on".

"We never know exactly what we're going to get", she said.

Like CVS, Walgreens provides the flu shot. If there's a lot of flu in the community during flu season and you're presenting with symptoms, your doctor might decide to treat you without confirming you have the flu. Tankut suggests that you wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and warm water. You should cover your mouth while coughing or sneezing. Be careful about touching your face after you touch surfaces because influenza and other viruses and vermin can be on them.