Does a Flu shot really work?

DR. D art Flu shotEverywhere we look, we are being sold convenience. Smart phones allow you to check your email, the weather, and last night’s scores with just one swipe of the finger. Movies can be rented from a kiosk outside the gas station. Your favorite stores offer simple online shopping, with shipments right to your door.

But, there is one thing you shouldn’t trade for convenience: your health. Sure, it might be tempting to hop in line for a flu shot right after you picked up the bread and milk during this week’s grocery trip, but is it the best idea for you?

The short answer? No. A doctor’s office—your doctor’s office—is better equipped and prepared to ensure you get the care you need. They know you, and your medical history. They know about all of your allergies, even the ones you might have forgotten. And, they are better armed to address any complications that may occur from a shot.

Each year, anywhere from 5-20% of U.S. residents contract the flu. The flu season generally starts in the fall, hitting the highest numbers of cases in January and February. The flu does not discriminate, although those most at risk are children under the age of five and senior citizens, age 65 and older. Most cases of the flu last one to two weeks, with pneumonia and dehydration possible in bad cases.

Symptoms of the flu include a high fever, chills, fatigue, body aches, a cough or sore throat, and often nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. These symptoms usually mimic those of a cold, although tend to be much worse. This makes getting the flu shot even more important—all “convenience” goes out the window when you have to take multiple sick days off work, or need to take care of an ill child or elderly family member.

By being proactive, and by seeking the most experienced care, you can greatly lower your chances of being in that 5-20%. Getting the flu vaccine allows antibodies to build up in your body, providing protection against infection. The Center for Disease Control recommends that everyone ages six months and older receive the vaccination.

Getting your flu shot now will help you and your loved ones. By protecting yourself from the flu, you also are protecting those around you who are more vulnerable to illness. The vaccine also helps to prevent extreme cases of the flu and greatly diminishes the number of flu-related hospitalizations across all ages.

Flu season is just around the corner. Call Dr. Schumacher today at 614-299-9909 to schedule your shot. Most insurance carriers cover the shot, and our office will work with you to find a time that best fits your schedule. Leave the grocery store for the bread and milk. Your health is too important.