It’s nearly impossible to tune into your favorite news broadcast or website without hearing about  COVID-19.  However, there is another threat to our health that is not getting as much attention as it should — the seasonal flu. 

As we enter the fall and winter flu season, it’s more important than ever to take a few minutes and get your flu vaccination from your local CapRock Urgent Care.

While the shocking number of illnesses and deaths from COVID-19 are at the forefront of our thoughts, it is easy to forget that seasonal influenza — or the flu — causes extensive illness and death in America every year. In fact, each year we lose from 50,000 to 80,000 Americans, including infants and children, to the yearly flu epidemic.  (To put that in perspective, we have lost 206,000 Americans to COVID-19 at the time of this writing.)

flu shot administered in upper arm

Why You Need a Flu Shot Every Year

Unfortunately, getting a flu shot does not offer lifelong protection against the flu like a measles or chickenpox vaccine. Vaccination for flu does provide a burst of immune protection, but it fades over time. Furthermore, new strains of flu develop and circulate every year, necessitating a yearly update to the vaccine. 

Getting a flu shot specific to the strains circulating each year significantly reduces your chance of catching the flu and dramatically reduces the chances you will die of the flu.  Additionally, getting a flu shot every year provides greater protection than getting the shot sporadically. 

A flu shot is recommended every year for individuals over the age of six months. Flu shots are particularly important for young children, the elderly and women who are pregnant or might become pregnant.  

There are several different vaccines available based on your situation, including injections, nasal sprays, and a special high-dose influenza vaccine that is generally recommended for individuals over the age of 65 to provide added protection.  Your healthcare provider will help you choose the best one for your situation

Flu Shots are Safe and Effective

Flu shots have been administered to billions of people for decades and have been proven to be extremely safe and effective; helping to either prevent infection altogether or reduce the severity and duration if you do become infected.  And, while receiving a flu shot is not a guarantee that you will not get the flu, it is the most effective prevention we have. 

While the flu shot is safe for the vast majority of people, there are some situations where getting a flu shot is not recommended, so be sure to speak with your healthcare professional if you have allergies to any components of the vaccine or have any other concerns. You can find an updated list of the CDC’s flu shot recommendations here

Medical Facilities are Sanitized and Ready to Administer Flu Shots

You might be concerned about going to a medical facility to get a flu shot during the COVID-19 pandemic, but you need not worry.  Healthcare facilities are extremely strict with their standards for cleaning and disinfecting. Patients are checked for any COVID-19 symptoms before entering and visitors are often strictly limited to reduce the possibility of infection. Additional hand sanitizing stations are available throughout CapRock’s facilities, and you can be confident that you will receive first-class care in a safe environment.

Getting a flu shot is the best thing for you, your family, and the entire community. The ideal time to get your vaccine is late October or early November, so now’s the time to plan for your vaccination!  Contact the healthcare professionals at CapRock Health System at 979-314-2323 or visit one of our convenient locations. Our friendly and caring experts are available to help ensure you receive the proactive care that you and your family deserve.