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Take Your Shot

  • Category: Flu Season
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Maurie Wolfe
Take Your Shot

The flu shot is the first and most important step in protecting yourself and your loved ones against the influenza virus (flu). And although the flu shot doesn't always provide total protection, it's worth getting.

Influenza is a respiratory infection that can cause serious complications, particularly in young children, older adults and people with certain medical conditions. Getting an influenza vaccine is the best way to prevent the misery of the flu and its complications. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone, age 6 months and older (with rare exceptions), should receive the flu shot yearly. Vaccination is essential for high-risk groups, including:

- Parents of young children

- Pregnant women

- Adults, age 65 and older

- People with chronic medical conditions, like heart disease, diabetes and asthma

- Healthcare workers

- People who live with or care for high-risk individuals

- Caregivers of and those who live with infants younger than 6 months.

When should I get my flu shot?

Now is the best time to get your flu shot! Even if you miss the opportunity to get your flu shot in October, there's no time like the present! Flu season peaks in October and remains prevalent through March. Keep in mind that with the holidays quickly approaching, it takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for antibodies against flu to develop in the body.

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine and flu vaccine at the same time?

According to the CDC, these vaccines can be given at the same time safely. However, the CDC suggests people should be consistent with the recommended schedule for both vaccines. If you have not yet received your COVID-19 vaccine, make the appointment as soon as possible, and ideally, get a flu vaccine by the end of October. The flu vaccine does not prevent you from getting COVID-19. However, getting the flu vaccine this season is especially important because the flu and COVID-19 cause similar symptoms. Flu vaccination could reduce symptoms confused with those caused by COVID-19. Preventing the flu and reducing the severity of flu illness and hospitalizations decrease the number of people needing to stay in the hospital.

Where can I get the flu shot?

Flu shots are available without an appointment at North Oaks Urgent Care Clinics in Hammond, Ponchatoula and Walker.

Select North Oaks primary care and specialty clinics in Hammond, Livingston and Independence also provide flu shots. To locate a clinic near you, click here or call (985) 230-2778.

Will my insurance cover the flu shot?

Most health insurance plans are accepted, and many may cover the shot as a preventive service at no cost to you and covered family members. To verify acceptance of your plan and preventive service coverage, contact your insurance provider. Self-pay options also are available.