The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that the peak of flu season occurs anywhere from late November through March.
That’s why it’s recommended that everybody above he age of six months get a flu shot before that time period.
Some misconceptions about the flu shot might stop people from being vaccinated.
KX News spoke with a registered nurse to separate fact from fiction.
“The flu shot isn’t 100 percent effective, but it’s the best protection we have,” RN at First District Health, Lacey Mcnichols said.
Influenza can be a nasty virus that keeps you down for days or even weeks at a time.
Like Mcnichols said, the vaccine is the safest route to avoid the cold symptoms, fever, chills, and body aches that the flu is so well-known for.
If some are hesitant to get the flu shot, fear not.
“You cannot get sick from the flu shot, it’s impossible. But what you can do is your immune system response, you can feel that,” Mcnichols said.
“So for 24 hours you can feel a little achey from the flu vaccine but you don’t get the influenza itself.”
The vaccine is simply a copy-cat.
“So the flu virus itself isn’t in the vaccine but it looks like it. So your body thinks it’s the flu virus and develops an immunity to it,” she explained.
It takes about two weeks to effectively protect against the flu.
So if you have been vaccinated and feel a particular kind of illness shortly after, Mcnichols said it’s pretty likely that it’s not the flu.
“The flu virus itself will not cause any stomach issues. So if what you’re experiencing is a stomach bug, that is just that. It’s a bug, it’s not the influenza virus.”
If you are concerned that you have the flu, Mcnichols suggests getting tested for it.
“The difference between cold and flu would be the fever, the body aches, the chills, that’s pretty standard when it comes to the flu.”
If you catch it early enough, an antiviral can help relieve the long-lasting consequences of the influenza virus.
FLU SHOT CLINIC LOCATIONS:
– CHI St. Alexius in Minot and Williston, walk-in clinic Monday-Friday
– Minot Trinity locations – FirstCare, Health Center Sunday-Saturday
-South Ridge Monday-Friday
-Town & Country, Suite 104 Monday-Friday
-Pediatrics @ Medical Arts Health Center Monday-Friday
– CHI Mandan Medical Plaza, same-day appointments Monday-Friday
– Sanford Health Bismarck and Dickinson, walk-in clinic Wednesday, October 18, October 25, November 1 and November 8.
– Area CVS locations