Keep the Flu Away from You: Flu Vaccines for 2023-2024 Are Here
When the fall season arrives, so does flu season. The flu impacts millions of people every year, resulting in missed work and school days, doctor visits, hospitalizations, and even deaths.
Flu shots are available now at your local MD Now urgent care clinic. With 85+ clinics across Florida, MD Now is here to spread the word about flu shots for adults and children, why early flu vaccination is important, the best time for a flu shot, common misconceptions about flu shots, and more.
The Flu Vaccine for 2023-2024
Because we’re all at risk of getting the flu, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months of age and older protect themselves by getting a flu shot every year. An annual flu shot is one of the most effective ways to prevent the flu and its many complications.
This is especially important in the post-pandemic world where the flu and COVID-19 share similar symptoms, but the vaccines are not interchangeable—COVID-19 vaccines do not protect against the flu. Aside from COVID-19, flu is the deadliest vaccine-preventable disease in the United States.
Why do we need a flu shot so often? Because flu viruses are constantly changing. Every year, the flu vaccine is updated to protect against the viruses that research suggests will be most common during the upcoming flu season. That’s why the flu vaccine for 2023-2024 is your best bet for protection. This year, all flu vaccines in the United States will protect against the same four flu strains.
Timing Matters: Take Advantage of Available Flu Shots This October
No one knows what the upcoming flu season will be like, and the timing, severity, and length of the season varies from year to year. Whether it’s flu shots for adults or children, it takes about two weeks afterward for antibodies to develop in the body and fight against the flu. So, the earlier you get vaccinated, the better.
Seasonal flu activity typically begins in October and ends in May, peaking between December and February. Therefore, October and November are the best time for a flu shot to ensure that as many people are protected as possible and your body has plenty of time to make the antibodies it needs.
If you miss getting your vaccine in October, head to MD Now urgent care for a walk-in flu shot as soon as possible. Getting the vaccine late is better than not getting one at all—but as you’ll see below, the benefits of early flu vaccination are many.
Why Early Flu Vaccination Is Best
Ideally, you should get your flu vaccine before flu season starts and before the flu begins to spread in your community.
From a personal health standpoint, preventing the flu is a very good thing. Most people who get the flu describe it as feeling like they were hit by a truck. Common symptoms include fever, cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, fatigue, and more.
For some, the flu can lead to dangerous complications like pneumonia, myocarditis (inflammation of the heart), encephalitis (inflammation of the brain), or organ failure. Flu vaccines lower your chances of having severe complications, especially for people at higher risk of complications (such as young children and the elderly). Most flu-related hospitalizations occur in people who were not fully vaccinated.
Misconceptions About Flu Shots
There are many misconceptions about the flu shots available on the market today, such as:
“The flu shot will give me the flu.”
The way flu vaccines are made, they cannot give you the flu. Flu shots are made with inactivated (killed) virus or proteins from a flu virus, never the full virus.
“The flu shot will make me sick.”
There may be times when you don’t feel well after getting your flu vaccine, but these reactions—things like a low fever, headache, muscle pain, or soreness at the injection site—don’t mean you’re getting sick. They are actually signs that your immune system is working and your body is building protection against the flu. Any reactions to the flu shot should subside in a day or two.
“The flu shot isn’t safe.”
Over the past 50+ years, flu vaccines have been safely given to hundreds of millions of people, including pregnant women.
Let MD Now Help You Fight the Flu
Whether you need flu shots for adults or children, a flu test, or flu treatment, MD Now is your one-stop resource for all things flu.
At all MD Now locations, no appointment is necessary—just walk in. We also offer online Web Check-In® to make getting high-quality healthcare as easy and convenient as possible. You can check in online for your visit and wait from anywhere that’s convenient for you. You’ll receive a text message when it’s time for your visit.
The best time for a flu shot is now.
About MD Now® Urgent Care
MD Now urgent care is Florida’s largest urgent care operator with more than 85 state-of-the-art clinics conveniently located across Broward, Duval, Hillsborough, Indian River, Lake, Lee, Manatee, Martin, Miami-Dade, Orange, Palm Beach, Pinellas, Saint Lucie, Sarasota, and Seminole Counties. MD Now urgent care’s physician-led team of healthcare professionals provides high-quality healthcare through a comprehensive lineup of urgent care, preventative healthcare, and occupational health services during convenient hours. MD Now urgent care is proud to be affiliated with HCA Florida Healthcare. For more information, visit www.MDNOW.com.