It’s that time of year when the days grow shorter, the temperatures drop, and the flu begins to make its most unwelcome annual rounds, sending millions of people to their beds and couches in misery. If you want to spare your family from this viral infection, you should come on in for your annual flu shot.
At Skin and Body Curvatures, our team specializes in aesthetics, but our director, Dr. Mark Nowacki, offers primary care services that are designed to keep your family healthy from the inside out. As part of our primary care services, we offer annual flu shots to patients in St. Petersburg, Florida, helping them stay one step ahead of this potentially dangerous respiratory infection.
Here’s a look at why you need to renew your flu shot every year.
No two flus are alike
The influenza virus is incredibly adaptive and resilient, and new strains are constantly evolving. Because of this, the flu is a moving target from one year to the next, which prompted the global medical community to set up a worldwide influenza network. There are 142 centers in 113 countries that track the flu each year to determine which strains are emerging and making the rounds.
These centers collect critical data and send it to one of five World Health Organization Collaborating Centers for Reference and Research on Influenza, of which our own CDC is one. Experts from these five organizations then meet twice a year to figure out which strains of the flu will likely wreak the most havoc. Once they identify the likely culprits, they send this information to manufacturers so that they can produce a vaccine against the influenza strains.
This monumental effort on the world stage means that we can reduce your risk of catching the flu each year by 40-60% with a simple vaccine.
And even if this season’s flu is similar to the previous year, the antibodies that you produced after last year’s flu shot may have declined, which means you may not have enough protection in place to fight back against another assault.
From the youngest to the oldest
The CDC recommends that anyone over the age of six months be vaccinated against the flu each year, usually before winter gets into full swing. While you should protect your family with flu shots before the end of October, you can still receive a flu shot up through February, which can help protect you against late-season outbreaks.
For people over 65, we offer a stronger vaccination that helps with weakened immune systems. The flu shot is also safe for pregnant women, and we recommend that you protect you and your unborn child with a flu shot.
To protect your family against the flu this season, please contact us at 727-268-0646 or use our online scheduling tool to request an appointment.