Flu shots are more than a way to protect yourself from sickness; they provide an extra layer of protection for the people you interact with every day. If you’re wondering when to get the flu vaccine in 2024, we’ve got the answers you’re looking for.
How to Know If It’s the Flu
The human body is complex, and some diseases — like the flu and the common cold — share similar symptoms. Over the last four years, the symptoms of the flu have escalated across the United States and are often confused with COVID-19. If you or a loved one experiences the following, it may be the flu:
- Sore throat
- Runny or stuffy nose
Some symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, or dizziness, are possible but less common.
It’s important to understand the difference between the flu and the stomach flu. They may share a common name, but they are completely separate illnesses. The flu (influenza) targets the respiratory system (nose, throat, and lungs), while the stomach flu (viral gastroenteritis) disrupts the digestive system (stomach and intestines). These conditions are caused by different viruses, are transmitted differently, and require different kinds of treatments.
When the Flu Takes a Turn for the Worst
Like other health complications, the flu may escalate if untreated. If you receive a flu diagnosis and experience the following, seek immediate medical attention:
- Pressure or pain in the stomach or chest
- Your lips turn blue or purple
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Why the CDC Suggests You Get the Flu Vaccine
According to the CDC, some individuals have a higher chance of catching the flu and should consider getting a vaccine. Here are a few things that may encourage you or your family to get your influenza shot:
Young Children to Adults
People six months and older are advised to get their vaccine annually to promote long-term health with each strain of the virus that spreads. There are some specific variations of the vaccines that are only recommended for adults 18 and older.
Pregnant Women With Health Conditions
The CDC believes that women who have certain chronic health challenges may benefit from an influenza shot.
Individuals With Egg Allergies
Between 2023 and 2024, people with egg allergies may want to consult with their doctor to discuss options based on the ingredients of the vaccine.
Patients Recommended Against the Vaccine
Even though a majority of patients are encouraged to get the influenza shot, some need to talk with their medical providers before taking action. The CDC advises the following groups against getting the flu vaccine:
If you have life-threatening allergies outside of egg allergies, such as antibiotics or gelatin, you should consult with your doctor prior to vaccination.
Babies under the age of 6 months are discouraged from receiving flu shots due to potential side effects and their stage of development.
Previous Negative Experiences With Vaccinations
Patients who have adverse reactions to influenza shots need to speak with their medical care provider to confirm if vaccination is a safe option.
Where and When to Get the Flu Vaccine: 2024
East Adams Rural Healthcare serves the community by promoting long-term health and providing medical care whenever needed. If you have questions about when to get the flu vaccine, visit our local walk-in clinic. Our medical team consists of your caring neighbors.
Contact EARH today for more information regarding vaccinations and other medical care.