The flu shot is a valuable tool in protecting yourself and your family from the influenza virus. Doctors recommend getting one each year, as the contents of the vaccine change to adapt with the virus. Before you go to HealthSmart Vaccines to get your flu vaccine in Chantilly, VA, it’s important to familiarize yourself with how the vaccine works and its possible side effects.
A Guide to the Flu Shot
How It Works
The vaccination protects against multiple strains of the flu, including the H1N1 and H3N2 strains. Since the virus is constantly changing, the shot is slightly different each year to protect against the new season’s strain. Health officials recommend getting the shot in early fall before the start of November. After it’s administered, it will take two weeks for patients to develop immunity against the flu. While it’s not guaranteed to prevent you from getting sick, studies show that it does reduce your chance of contracting the virus. Those who get sick after having the flu shot often experience less severe symptoms.
Possible Side Effects
In most cases, patients experience mild side effects such as swelling, redness, and soreness at the injection site. Some experience aches or fevers of varying severity. Some of the more serious side effects include allergic reactions, hives, difficulty breathing, or a racing heart. If any of these more serious side effects occur, it’s best to see a doctor for treatment.
There is a common misconception that you can get the flu from the flu vaccine, but this is simply untrue. The viruses in the flu shot are killed, so you cannot get sick from them. Those who do get the flu immediately after the shot were simply unlucky enough to get sick before they were able to build up an immunity.
The flu shot is the best way to be proactive against influenza, and the experienced staff at HealthSmartVaccines will make getting your vaccination easy. They can even accommodate patients who are planning to travel by providing a set of booster shots. Contact us at (703) 961-0733 to schedule your appointment.