More than 200,000 people are hospitalized annually for flu-related complications. The best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu is by getting a flu shot each year.
WellStar offers on-site flu shot clinics at schools, churches, businesses and other locations, in addition to our Urgent Care Centers.
What is influenza?
Influenza, commonly known as the flu, is a contagious illness of the nose, throat and lungs caused by influenza viruses. It spreads easily through sneeze and cough droplets, causing mild to severe illness, and on rare occasions, death. Symptoms of seasonal flu include sudden high fever, chills, dry cough, headache, runny nose, sore throat, fatigue and muscle and joint pain.
What is the flu vaccine?
Seasonal flu vaccine protects against influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. The viruses in the vaccine change each year based on international surveillance and scientists’ estimations about which types and strains of viruses will circulate in a given year. About two weeks after vaccination, antibodies that provide protection against influenza virus infection develop in the body.
The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine containing inactive virus administered with a needle, usually in the arm. Because the vaccine contains inactivated (killed viruses), a flu shot cannot cause the flu. Flu shots are approved for people ages six months and older, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions.
Why should I get vaccinated?
Flu vaccine reduces the average person’s chances of catching the flu by up to 80% during flu season. Because the vaccine prevents infection with only a few of the viruses that can cause flu-like symptoms, it isn’t a guarantee against getting sick. But even if someone who’s gotten vaccinated gets the flu, symptoms usually will be fewer and milder.
When to get vaccinated?
The flu season generally begins in October and lasts through May, with most flu activity in January or later, though the season can vary from year to year. Getting the flu vaccine as soon as it is available, usually beginning in October, will protect you if the season comes early. You can get the flu vaccine as long as the flu is affecting people in your area.
To schedule a flu shot, please call 770-956-STAR (7827). To get information about onsite flu clinics or to schedule a clinic for your group, please call 770-793-7323.