Expert Perspective: Why You Should Get a Flu Shot

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Renown Medical Director of Primary Care Marie McCormack, MD, urges everyone to get a flu vaccine and get it early to prevent the spread of the disease. Dr. McCormack explains away the common misperception that you can get sick from the flu shot and addresses why this season’s flu shot will be even more effective.

Every winter, flu season takes on average tens of thousands of people around the globe and brings them to their knees — making them miss school, work, and even sending thousands to the hospital. In this video, Marie McCormack, MD, Director of Primary Care, details the nature of the flu virus and its ability to mutate. Because this viral infection presents differently each season, the vaccination you received last year will not protect you against this year’s strain. Make sure you get a flu vaccination this season — not the flu.

We will be offering flu and pneumonia vaccines to the public through early December.

Check out our vaccination schedule to find a time and location convenient for you and your family.

Our Expert Weighs In: Why You Need a Flu Shot

More Information: How do I know if I have the flu or a cold?

The flu and the common cold have similar symptoms. It can be difficult to tell the difference between them. Your healthcare provider can give you a test within the first few days of your illness to determine whether or not you have the flu.

In general, the flu is worse than the common cold. Symptoms such as fever, body aches, tiredness, and cough are more common and intense with the flu. People with colds are more likely to have a runny or stuffy nose.

Flu symptoms include:

  • A 100 degree or higher fever or feeling feverish (not everyone with the flu has a fever)
  • A cough and/or sore throat
  • A runny or stuffy nose
  • Headaches and/or body aches
  • Chills
  • Fatigue
  • Nausea, vomiting, and/or diarrhea (most common in children)

When should I seek emergency medical attention?

  • Seek medical attention immediately if you experience any of the following:
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Purple or blue discoloration of the lips
  • Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen
  • Sudden dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Severe or persistent vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough

Bottom line: Your best chance of avoiding the flu this season is to get your flu vaccine. And experts advise: the earlier, the better.

For questions about flu vaccination, contact your primary care physician.

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