As the Charleston heat begins to cool and the Lowcountry autumn creeps in, the “dreaded” signs begin to pop up: Flu Shot Immunizations Here!
Think you can sneak by without getting vaccinated again this year? Why would you want to! Consider a few important reasons why you should take the plunge and get jabbed:
- The flu shot will NOT give you the flu. The actual flu vaccination you receive at the clinic or pharmacy is non-infectious; it has either been inactivated or contains no virus at all. While some may experience a low grade fever, redness or tenderness at the site of the injection, there is no chance you will develop actual flu symptoms. At best, you may have been harboring a common cold virus prior to the flu shot – and its emergence is a coincidence of bad timing! ‘Tis the season for spreading good cheer – and illness- after all. Be sure you are feeling healthy when you show up to your clinic appointment. (As as always, good hand washing can minimize the chances of catching or spreading the common cold.)
- If you think getting a flu shot is worse than getting the actual flu, you’ve probably never actually gotten the flu before. While some might swear that they have had the flu before – and “getting a shot is worse,” – they might want to remind themselves of what the actual flu virus is capable of: Aching muscles (particularly in the legs, arms and back); High fevers running over 100 degrees, chills and night sweats; headaches; chronic coughing spells; sore throat and nasal congestion. Don’t risk getting these debilitating symptoms just because you don’t want to deal with a 1 second pinch!
- Flu shots are not just for the young, sick and elderly. The flu is a virus that does not discriminate – and can put you out of work for a week or more! That’s a big financial loss for many without sick time, and could even compromise the status of your employment for seasonal hires or shift workers. Even pregnant women or people who have chronic health problems like diabetes should get their immunizations. Your physician will let you know if you have any conditions exempting you from the flu shot.
- Chances are, you are dealing with an ‘Expert Jabber.’ For the health practitioner administering your flu shot, this is not his or her first rodeo: By the time you walk through the door, they have probably already administered 20 that day like a well-oiled machine. There are many techniques to minimize the pinch of a needle, and your health care practitioner will take care to delivery your shot as quickly and painlessly as possible – after all, they want you to come back again next year!
- Do it for your loved ones, if not for yourself. This one is self explanatory – when you are virus free, you help keep those around you healthier, too. Keep up the good work and spread smiles, not sneezes!
Bottom Line: Don’t let your fears or misconceptions prevent you from staying healthy this season. Get jabbed! If you don’t have insurance and are eligible to enroll as a patient at Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic, make an appointment with us and we will contact you as soon as we receive our annual flu vaccine supply. Without health insurance, you can also acquire the immunization now from anywhere between $19.99- $39.99 at select store pharmacies.
MayoClinic: Influenza (flu) Symptoms, Accessed 9/13/16
CDC: Misconceptions About Seasonal Flu and Flu Vaccines, Accessed 9/13/16
Barrier Islands Free Medical Clinic provides medical care to eligible patients, just like any family practitioner or internist – but it is free. We serve uninsured adults living at or below 200 % of the Federal poverty level who live or work on Johns, Wadmalaw or James Islands. You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.