Flu season runs from October through April .... so it is definitely upon us. In Grayson and Loganville, there are plenty of opportunities to vaccinate yourself against all that winter sneezing, feverish shivers and achiness.
The City of Grayson has their flu shot clinic on Saturday, October 13 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. in the Grayson Senior Center located directly behind City Hall. This year the cost of the shot is at least 5 canned/non-perishable food items per person to benefit the Southeast Gwinnett Co-Op. Cash/check donations will also be accepted and the suggested donation amount is a minimum of $5 per person.
Local pharmacies are also taking care of flu shots on a walk-in basis. The CVS site indicates that you can get your shot daily at a cost of $31.99 without insurance. The closest CVS Pharmacies are on Highway 78 in Loganville and on Highway 20 right outside of Grayson
Should you get a flu shot?
Is a flu vaccine worth your while? You're not guaranteed to GET the flu if you aren't vaccinated, but there are some very good reasons to get your shot ... soon!
Influenza, or the "flu,” is a contagious respiratory illness caused by viruses infecting the nose, throat and lungs. Symptoms include muscle or body aches, headaches, cough, sore throat, fatigue, fever or chills, and vomiting and diarrhea (the latter two are more common in kids). The flu can also worsen chronic medical conditions or cause death.
Unfortunately, flu viruses can spread easily via infected people coughing, sneezing or even just talking. Folks are contagious a day before symptoms appear and up to a week after getting sick. It spreads easily throughout a home, school, or workplace.
It’s also possible to get the flu by touching something with the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes or nose.
The CDC recommends getting vaccinated as early as possible, as it takes a few weeks to reach full immunity.
- Flu shots are an inactivated vaccine made from killed virus, which means it’s impossible to get the flu from the vaccine, explains Dr. Angela Rasmussen, Ph.D, an infectious disease expert.
- There are currently three flu shots being produced in the U.S.: the regular (intramuscular) seasonal flu shot, a high-dose vaccine for people 65 and older, and an intradermal (injected into the skin) vaccine for people ages 18 to 64.
- A nasal-spray flu vaccine made with live, weakened flu viruses (which also do not cause the flu) is also available to healthy people ages 2 to 49 years old, except pregnant women. The most common side effect from a flu shot is soreness at the injection site.
Who should get a flu shot?
The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and up get an annual flu vaccine. Even if you don’t think you need a flu shot, consider that you can be a flu carrier without feeling sick and spread it to loved ones around you, says Jack Cantlin, a pharmacist and the divisional vice president of retail clinical services at Walgreens.
Folks at greater risk for serious complications from the flu include the elderly, young children, pregnant women and nursing home residents. People with chronic medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and chronic lung disease—as well as those who work with them—are also at risk.
“People at high risk should talk with their doctor about getting a high-dose flu shot, as this can provide better protection for people with immune systems that have been weakened by age or other medical conditions,” says Dr. Rasmussen.
She also recommends asking about the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccination, because a pertussis infection coupled with the flu can cause more severe diseases, especially in young children. ABC News reports that whooping cough is on the rise making this especially important this year.
- People with severe chicken egg allergies, a history of Guillain-Barré syndrome, and those who have had a severe reaction to a flu vaccine in the past should consult their doctor before getting a flu shot.
- People who have a moderate or severe illness with a fever should wait to get vaccinated until they are well. Babies under 6 months of age should not get a flu shot.