Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by LCMC Health Urgent Care.
Take a Shot at Being an InFLUencer!
Flu season is lurking on the horizon, perhaps during Christmas or Mardi Gras, just waiting there to get you or your loved ones sick with fever, chills, cough, body aches and that feeling of just being wiped out. Even worse, for some, especially children and those over 65, it can lead to hospitalization and in rare cases even death. However, getting a flu shot is safe, easy and still the best way to ensure you and your family lower the risk of getting the flu or experiencing some of its worst symptoms.
A word of warning! Last year, the U.S. saw very little flu, due largely to the measures put in place to stop the spread of the coronavirus, including masking, distancing, and hand hygiene. But health authorities are concerned that the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and a lack of immunity from the flu last year could lead to a worse-than-normal flu season.
Be an InFLUencer
You probably follow influencers on social media using them as a guide for fashion tips, insight into culture and the hottest new brands. This season, we invite you to step into the role as an InFLUencer, taking the lead to get your flu shot, bringing your kids to get theirs and also encouraging friends and family, especially parents and grandparents, to get vaccinated as well.
Why Get a Flu Shot?
Getting the flu could mean you miss a few days of work, school, or family events, or it can result in more serious illness like bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. During typical flu seasons, millions of people get flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands die from flu-related causes. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help reduce the risk of getting flu and any of its potentially serious complications. Flu vaccines can:
- Keep you from getting sick with flu.
- Reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
- Reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization.
- Be a preventive tool for people with certain chronic health conditions.
- Help protect pregnant women from flu during and after pregnancy and help protect their infants from flu in their first few months of life.
- Be lifesaving in children, who are much more vulnerable to the flu’s symptoms.
- Protect people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, like babies and young children, older people, and people with certain chronic health conditions.
Who Should Get a Flu Vaccine?
Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season with rare exception. CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has made this “universal” recommendation since the 2010-2011 flu season. Here are three high-risk groups:
- Young Children: Children are more likely to catch and spread influenza. They have large volumes of virus in their nasal secretions and, after infection, shed this for days. Plus, we all know little ones also have poorer hygiene practices, often coughing and spluttering over those closest to them. The younger a child is, the less mature their immune systems are, and therefore, they have a higher risk of contracting the flu virus and having severe complications from it.
- Pregnant Women: Changes in the immune system, heart, and lungs during pregnancy make pregnant women more prone to severe illness from influenza. Vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant women by about one-half.
- Persons 65+: Immune defenses weaken as we get older. In recent years, it is estimated that between 70% – 85% of seasonal flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older, and between 50% – 70% of seasonal flu-related hospitalizations have occurred among people in this age group.
- People with asthma, heart disease, chronic kidney disease and more are also more vulnerable. A full list can be found at the CDC website.
When Should I Get a Flu Shot?
September and October are the best times to get vaccinated. However, even later can still provide protection during the peak of flu season.
It Is Safe to Receive Doses of the Flu and COVID-19 Vaccines?
Yes, it is absolutely safe to get both, whether separate or at the same time. In fact, more than 6 billion COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered worldwide and there have been no long-term side effects reported.
Why Choose to Get a Flu Shot in an Urgent Care Setting?
Getting your flu shot at a facility like LCMC Health Urgent Care is easy, convenient and more. LCMC Health Urgent Care has experienced nurses giving injections along with healthcare providers onsite should you have any questions. Walk-ins are welcome or you can utilize online check-in to make an appointment. LCMC Health Urgent Care accepts most insurance plans and strictly adheres to Urgent Care Association clinical standards for vaccine administration so you have the peace of mind that your vaccine will be safe and effective. LCMC Health Urgent Care has eight convenient, walk-in clinics in the New Orleans and Northshore area: Kenner, Lakeview, Clearview, Uptown, Marrero, Gretna, and Covington. For more information and addresses, visit lcmchealthurgentcare.com. Also, be sure to “Like” and “Follow” LCMC Health Urgent Care on Facebook and Instagram. Get your shot and be an InFLUencer this season!