child playing in the leavesThe Center for Disease Control and Prevention insists that everyone over the age of 6 months receive a flu shot each year. Flu season officially begins in October and doesn’t end until at least early spring. Some years, the flu will even extend all the way into June. However, the most cases are typically recorded between December and February.

Regardless, now is the best time of the year to get your flu shot. Because it takes time for your body to build up an immunity, the vaccine takes up to two weeks until its fully effective. This means you can still contract the flu during the two weeks following your vaccine, making it essential for you to receive your shot at the very beginning of flu season. Receiving a flu shot may mean the difference between life and death for people with compromised immune systems. This includes young children and elderly people, who are especially vulnerable to developing some of the flu’s most dangerous complications.

Yet, to illustrate how important it is to receive a flu shot, we first have to debunk some of the myths that may be preventing people from getting their vaccine.

Myth #1: Flu Shots Are Unsafe for Pregnant Women

FALSE! The CDC highly encourages pregnant women to receive a flu shot. The vaccine is safe and proven to help prevent both pregnant women and their unborn child from developing the flu. Once the child is born, they will most likely remain immune from all the flu strands the shot helps prevent. Then, at 6 months old, the child will be able to receive a flu shot.

Myth #2: Flu Shots Can Actually Cause the Flu

FALSE! The flu vaccine is comprised of dead flu particles, which help the immune system build up an immunity without actually contracting the virus. Therefore, flu shots definitely do not cause the flu, as they are the number one best defense against the virus.

Myth #3:  Contracting the Virus Builds Up an Immunity Better than the Shot

FALSE! While contracting the flu virus allows your body to develop an immunity, you will only build up an immunity to the one strand that you contracted. Flu shots, however, allows your body to build up an immunity to multiple flu strands. Also, contracting the flu induces miserable symptoms that may lead to severe complications. When you’re sick with the flu, you’re also putting everybody you surround yourself with in jeopardy to contracting the flu.

To receive your flu shot, visit us at AFC Doctors Express Urgent Care Southcenter, where we administer flu shots 7 days a week on a walk-in basis during flu season. For more information, call us at 425.291.3300. We look forward to helping you enjoy a flu-free flu season.