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Do I Really Need a Flu Shot Every Year?

As the fall season rolls around, it brings with it the usual increase in instances of the flu virus and associated illnesses. Of course, since summer is over and you’re back in work or school, the days of being able to lounge around and sleep it off are also coming to an end—which is where the flu vaccination comes into the picture.

Who Should Get the Flu Shot?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the foremost American official outlet for information on diseases. As a matter of official policy, they do release recommendations for the following groups of people every year:

  • Americans who are six months and older
  • Americans who are at high risk for flu-related complications
  • Anyone who lives with someone who is prone to getting the flu
  • People who are at least 65 years old
  • Healthcare professionals (doctors, nurses, aides, etc.) who work around people with illnesses
  • Pregnant women
  • People with kidney disorders, liver disorders, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), heart disease, or lung disease

Generally speaking, the flu vaccine is essential for people at high risk and optional for those who are not. There’s a lot of debate between doctors on a national level regarding whether it’s essential for everyone to get a flu shot. However, if you live or are in contact with people who are at high risk, you become more prone to it, so a flu vaccination is a good idea.

The Risks of Not Getting a Flu Shot

One of the reasons why vaccination is recommended by the CDC is because of the effects of contracting the flu. The disease is serious enough to reduce anyone’s ability to function; generally, work and school are out of the question for at least a few days—not only because of the severity of the illness, but also because it is a contagious respiratory disease and you’ll likely get others sick. It usually takes a week for the debilitating effects to subside.

It is for this reason that many qualified health professionals recommend that everyone over the age of six months gets vaccinated. This drastically reduces the chances that you could get sick from the flu; and, even if you still manage to get it, the symptoms will be significantly reduced.

Flu Complications to Watch Out For

The flu itself is most dangerous because of the complications the disease can cause. If you already have asthma, diabetes, or heart disease, then catching the flu can worsen the effects of these chronic ailments, which is why people with these conditions are advised by the CDC to get vaccinated. Even if you don’t have any chronic diseases, the flu can still lead to sinus and ear infections, pneumonia, excessive dehydration, and more.

Get a Flu Shot Today

If you’re in Maryland or the surrounding DC metro area, Fast Track Urgent Care is your go-to walk-in clinic of choice to avoid the long lines of the hospital. You can get your flu vaccination or care for associated illnesses as a walk-in patient at Fast Track. Urgent care is our specialization, and fully qualified doctors and health professionals are available to help you.

For more information on the flu vaccine or to inquire about getting a flu shot at one of our clinics today, call (800) 417-1164 or contact us online now!