Three chances to get your flu vaccine
By Kristy Bleizeffer Sep 14, 2020
This year, it’s more important than ever to get your flu shot.
With coronavirus infections expected to increase this fall and winter, your body can use all the protection it can get. While a flu vaccine won’t prevent you from catching the coronavirus, it may spare you from influenza – another respiratory disease that can make you very sick. Plus, if cases of COVID-19 do spike and tax medical resources, it’s better to have more people in the community vaccinated against the flu. Health systems do not want to fight two viral outbreaks at the same time.
Each of Wyoming Medical Center’s primary care clinics will offer drive-through flu vaccination clinics this fall.
- Saturday, Oct. 3: At Cole Creek Primary Care, 6600 E. Second St. (307) 473-6768
- Saturday, Oct. 10: At Sage Primary Care, 1020 S. Conwell St. (307) 265-8300
- Saturday, Oct. 17: At Mesa Primary Care, 3632 American Way. (307) 234-6765
Flu vaccinations are $28. Clinics are 8 a.m. to noon and are open to everyone 3 and older. (Talk to your pediatrician or family physician about vaccinations for children younger than 3.) (High-dose flu shots will cost more.)
Flu vaccinations will also be available through your primary care provider beginning Oct. 1. Or, patients at Immediate Care, Urgent Care East or the Respiratory Symptom Screening Clinic can request a flu shot anytime in October.
Late September through November is prime time for vaccination against the flu virus for people living in Wyoming where the flu season is typically later to start than in other areas of the country.
WHO SHOULD GET A FLU SHOT?
The CDC recommends that everyone six months and older get a flu shot, particularly people who are very young or very old or who may suffer from other chronic illnesses. Talk to your primary care doctor or pediatrician about the best type of vaccination for children under two. It’s important to get vaccinated because we shed the virus before we even know that we are sick.
Pregnant women can and should get the flu shot. And they are also at higher risk if they get the flu because they can put their babies at risk.
HOW LONG DOES IMMUNITY LAST?
The vaccination protects against the flu for about four to six months, but is strongest after two to four weeks. Its effectiveness decreases with time after that first two- to four-week period when your body is building its immunity.
That’s why you should wait until fall to get your shot. Wyoming’s flu season doesn’t generally start until January and may start as late as February, March or April. Therefore, people who get their shots in August or early September won’t have the strongest immunity by the time our flu season rolls around.
WILL THE SHOT GIVE ME THE FLU?
No. The flu shot uses a dead virus; it cannot infect you. Symptoms you might experience afterward are caused by your immune response and only about 7 percent of people even get a fever from the shot. The nasal vaccine does contain a live virus, so only choose this option if you have a fairly good immune system.