It’s that Time of Year Again: Flu Season!

Here is all you need to know about flu shots and other ways you can combat influenza.

Woman receiving a flu shot.

You know the drill:

Pumpkin spice, crunchy leaves, holiday preparations. Fall has many wonderful traditions, but there is one tradition that can throw a wrench in your holiday plans: the flu.

But you don’t have to let sickness ruin your Fall. These tips can help keep you healthy through winter and beyond:

What should I know about this year’s flu season?

Traditionally, peak flu season in the United States lands between October and May, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, the flu infection rates have been a bit less predictable. Regardless, getting your flu vaccine can help you avoid unnecessary illness.

When is the best time to get a flu shot?

According to the CDC the best time to get a flu shot is by the end of October, but getting a vaccine later on can still protect you from the peak of flu season.

Where can I get a flu shot?

Flu shots are widely available almost everywhere in the US. You can always make an appointment with your physician to receive one, but you can often get one from your local pharmacy too, which might save you a copay.

Can I get a Covid-19 booster at the same time as my flu shot?

Yes, in fact, it’s recommended as COVID-19 is still spreading and prevalent. If you have received your full vaccinations for COVID-19 you are eligible for receiving a booster at the same time as your flu shot. Studies from the CDC show that there aren’t any safety concerns with receiving both vaccines in the same visit. Side effects from patients included minor fatigue, muscle aches, and headaches.

What are the benefits of flu shots?

Nobody likes shots, but getting a shot is much less painful than a case of the flu. Here are a few benefits to receiving a flu shot:

  • Studies show that flu vaccinations are proven to reduce the risk of the flu by up to 60%. And even if you do contract the flu, a vaccination can help lessen the severity of symptoms and help your body fight off the virus. A 2021 study revealed that among adults who had to be admitted to the hospital with influenza, vaccinated patients had 31% lower risk of death from the flu than those who were unvaccinated.
  • Flu vaccinations can be lifesaving for children. Studies in 2022 revealed that a flu shot can reduce the risk of life-threatening strains of influenza in children by 75%.
  • Flu shots can protect pregnant people and their fetuses.
  • Getting a flu shot can protect those around you who are susceptible or at high-risk for serious complications if they contract influenza.

Are there other ways to prevent sickness?

There is no substitute for the flu vaccine, but once you have been vaccinated, you can take other steps to further improve your ability to fight off infection, like:

  • Eating a healthy diet, especially high in leafy greens to boost immunity.
  • Using hand sanitizer and washing your hands frequently.
  • Getting adequate exercise to give your immune system a kick.
  • Indulging in self-care to reduce stress. Uncontrolled stress can do a number on your ability to fight off diseases.

See more: 7 Ways to Combat Cold and Flu Season

Getting a flu shot doesn’t take much time, but getting a terrible case of the flu does! And nobody has time for that during the holiday season. So do yourself a favor and make an appointment this month. You’ll thank yourself later!

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