Kimberly Bolling, MD
Internist located in Bowie, MD
Getting a flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from catching the flu. Everyone six months and older should consider getting the vaccination. At her practice in Bowie, Maryland, Dr. Kimberly L. Bolling offers the flu shot and can talk to you about the vaccine and how it may prevent you from catching the flu this season. To schedule your flu shot, call the office or request an appointment online today.
Flu Shot Q & A
What is the flu shot?
The flu shot or flu vaccine is an injection that offers protection against three or four of the most common strains of influenza during the upcoming flu season.
Influenza is a family of highly contagious viruses that cause the flu, which is a disease that affects the respiratory system. Though flu symptoms range from mild to severe, in some cases, the infection may lead to respiratory failure or death.
The flu shot helps your body build-up antibodies against the virus. Though it may not prevent you from catching the flu virus and getting sick, your annual flu shot may lessen the severity of your symptoms and the duration of your infection.
Who needs the flu shot?
In general, everyone aged six months and older needs the flu shot. It’s especially important for people at risk of developing serious health complications from an infection, including:
- Older adults
- Young children
- Pregnant women
- People with chronic health conditions (e.g., asthma, diabetes, cancer)
Though most people benefit from getting the flu shot, it may not be recommended if you have an egg allergy or had a bad reaction to a previous flu shot.
Your provider determines if you’re not a good candidate for the flu shot and can talk to you about other ways you can protect yourself from getting sick.
When should I get the flu shot?
In the United States, flu season begins in October and typically lasts through March. It takes your body about two weeks to build up immunity against the flu. You should get your flu shot before the start of the flu season.
It’s recommended that you get your flu shot before the end of October, so you get the most protection. However, you may still benefit from the vaccination even if you wait until February or later to get it.
Will the flu shot make me sick?
You may experience some side effects after getting the flu shot. In most cases, the side effects include pain, swelling, and warmth at the site of the injection.
However, some people may also experience headaches, muscle aches, or a mild fever after their injection. These symptoms indicate your body is building up the antibodies needed to help you fight off the influenza virus.
It’s more important than ever that you take the necessary steps to protect yourself from getting the flu. Call Dr. Kimberly L. Bolling or request your flu shot online today.