According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, everyone six years of age and older should get a flu shot as part of preventive health. Kimberlee Decker, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC, of Total Family Care in Lewistown, Montana, offers flu shots as part of comprehensive vaccination services. If you’re due for a flu shot, call the office to set up a visit or book online in just moments.
The flu shot is a vaccine developed to prevent infection by influenza viruses. While this preventive health measure is usually referred to as “the flu shot,” there are actually numerous formulations of the influenza vaccine.
The flu shot also differs from one year to the next. That’s because researchers work to design flu vaccines that target the types of influenza viruses projected to be most common in the given year.
Like all vaccines, the flu shot works by prompting your natural immune response. When your body recognizes components of the vaccine as potentially harmful, it launches a strong immune reaction. Your body then produces antibodies that fight off that specific type of infection. The vaccine itself only contains a weakened or partial virus and will not actually make you sick.
Once you’ve developed antibodies for that specific strain of the flu virus, those antibodies remain in your system. If you encounter the full-strength version of the flu virus, your immune system is ready to spring into action to fight off the infection.
It’s generally recommended that every one the age of six and above have an annual flu shot. Total Family Care offers flu vaccines for adults, though children can receive their vaccines through the Fergus County health nurse.
If you have health issues that increase the risk of complications with influenza, it’s especially important that you come in for an annual flu shot. Some examples include:
If you’re unsure whether the flu shot is right for you, discuss it with your practitioner during your annual physical exam.
The flu shot is safe for children, adults, pregnant women, and people with chronic health conditions. Like all vaccines, the flu shot is subject to rigorous scientific evaluation and trials.
Despite decades of research that support the safety and efficacy of the flu vaccine, there continues to be a great deal of misinformation spread about whether or not people should be vaccinated. It’s essential to get your health information from trained health professionals, not from the internet or friends and family.
Not only is the flu shot safe, but it can also be a lifesaver for family members who have certain chronic health conditions or are otherwise at high risk for complications from influenza. If you have additional questions or concerns, call the office at Total Family Care to book a visit or schedule online from the comfort of your home.