Flu season starts as early as this month and can run as late as May. In preparation, we're listing 8 essential tips to keep you and your loved ones protected this year.
- The first step for staying healthy during flu season is is to get your flu vaccine every year starting at six months of age.
- The first year your baby gets the flu vaccine, we recommend two doses spaced a minimum of thirty days apart.
- Getting your annual flu shot not only provides you with protection - it also helps to protect those who are at higher risk such as babies and the elderly who are too young to get the vaccine.
- The flu viruses can change each year, so scientists study these changes and use this information to develop the next season’s flu vaccine. This is why we get vaccinated every year.
- In the past, certain patients could be vaccinated using a nasal spray instead of the shot. However, we are not recommending the nasal flu spray this year since it did not work as well as the shot. It is important to understand that the flu shot cannot give you the flu illness because it is made using an inactivated virus.
- After receiving the flu shot, there are a few common side effects to be aware of including: soreness at the site, body aches and low grade fever.
- Those with an egg allergy can receive the flu vaccine. If you have had a severe allergic reaction to egg then we recommend that the vaccine be given in a medical facility with your health provider present to manage any allergic reaction should one occur.
- Lastly, make sure you are practicing good hand hygiene to help prevent illness and keep your family safe. If you or a loved one starts with flu-like symptoms, we encourage you to contact your physician for advice.
Flu shots take about two weeks to provide protection. Discover 4 easy ways to get your flu shot at Ochsner.