With it being winter time once again, it is important to get a flu shot to protect yourself and your family from spreading this nasty infection. Influenza (or the “flu”) is a respiratory infection and an outbreak occurs every year throughout the fall and into the spring months. The flu virus changes every year, so anyone who received the vaccine the year before won’t be immune still the following year.  So, what are your options for where you can get your shot?

Your regular family doctor:  If you schedule an appointment with your normal family doctor, you should be able to get a flu shot. If you have kids, you’ll be able to schedule an appointment for all of them as well. However, sometimes your regular physician might be extremely busy during this time of the year, and you may not be able to get your family in to see the doctor to get immunized right away. In this case, going to an urgent care clinic might be a better option for you family to quickly receive their flu shot.

Getting A Flu Shot At Urgent Care

One main advantage of urgent care clinics is their availability for being open outside of regular office hours. Many urgent care clinics are also open on the weekends. This can be extremely beneficial if you are unable to take time off of work to go to your regular doctor to get a flu shot! It can also be an advantage if you do not want to take your kids out of school so they can receive a vaccine. Many urgent care centers also do not require appointments and will allow for walk-ins. Usually, their wait time is far less than what you would find at an emergency room.

There is also an advantage to getting your flu shot at an urgent care center over an emergency room because many of the doctors who work at urgent care clinics are family physicians, so they could work better with kids in general.

Kids Receiving A Flu Shot At Urgent Care

It is advised that all children over the age of 6 months old should get a flu shot once a year (before each flu season that starts in October). The flu vaccine is extremely safe and it does not cause the flu. Sometimes there are side effects from the flu shot though. These include:

  • Tenderness in the arm where the shot took place
  • A mild fever for the first day or two after immunization

Both of these side effects are totally normal for children (and adults) after they’ve received the flu vaccine.

If you’re pregnant this flu season, you should still receive your flu shot. Infants who are born to mothers who received a flu shot, are usually immune to the possibility of getting the flu for the first few months.

Learn more about the urgent care clinics you can receive a flu shot at Perfect Health.