Getting a flu shot is an essential measure to reduce the risk of contracting the flu and is recommended as an effective way to protect yourself and others during flu season.
An Annual Flu Shot Offers the Best Protection
A person’s best shot at avoiding the flu this season is to be vaccinated against it every year. Flu vaccinations are encouraged for anyone over the age of 6 months, but especially for people over the age of 65, people with heart or lung disorders, immunosuppressant diseases or diabetes. TidalHealth offers residents of the Delmarva Peninsula multiple options where they can receive their seasonal flu shots. High-dose "senior shots" are only given at providers offices and pharmacies. At our drive-thru clinics and wellness van stops, a quadrivalent (four-strain) flu shot is offered.
TidalHealth Drive-Thru & Community Clinics Offering Free Seasonal Flu Shots
Our Drive-Thru Flu Clinics and Community Flu Clinics are free of charge and open to anyone ages 8 and up (under age 18 must bring a parent/guardian to sign consent). The shot given at our flu clinics is a quadrivalent flu vaccine. High-dose "senior" flu shots are not offered at these events — please see your primary care provider or pharmacist to see if you should get one. TidalHealth holds annual clinics during the Fall season, stayed tuned for next year's dates.
Other Ways to Get Your Flu Shot
TidalHealth HomeScripts Pharmacy in Ocean Pines offers flu shots — Monday – Friday: 8 am to 6 pm, Saturday: 9 am to 3 pm.
In addition, existing patients of TidalHealth Primary Care offices can schedule a flu shot with their office.
Need a primary care provider?
Patients who are not yet established at a TidalHealth Primary Care office can conveniently schedule a new patient appointment online at a location near them.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About the Flu and the Flu Vaccination:
What is the flu?
The flu, or influenza, is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses. It can cause mild to severe illness and, in some cases, can lead to hospitalization or even death.
How is the flu different from a cold?
While both the flu and cold are respiratory illnesses, the flu tends to have more severe symptoms and can lead to more serious complications than a common cold. Flu symptoms often come on suddenly and can include fever, body aches, fatigue, and cough.
What is a flu shot?
A flu shot is a vaccine designed to protect against the influenza viruses. It typically contains inactivated or weakened flu viruses that prompt the immune system to produce antibodies. These antibodies help protect against the viruses included in the vaccine.
Who should get a flu shot?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone aged six months and older receive a flu shot annually, with few exceptions. It is especially important for individuals at high risk of flu-related complications, such as young children, pregnant women, older adults, and those with certain health conditions.
When is the best time to get a flu shot?
It is generally recommended to get a flu shot in the early fall, before flu season peaks. However, getting vaccinated later in the season is still beneficial, as the flu can circulate well into the winter months.
Is it too late to get the flu vaccine?
It's never too late to get a flu shot. While the ideal time is in the early fall before flu season peaks, getting vaccinated later can still provide valuable protection. Flu activity can continue well into the winter, so getting vaccinated even in the midst of flu season is recommended.
Can the flu shot give you the flu?
No, the flu shot cannot give you the flu. The viruses in the vaccine are either inactivated or weakened, making it impossible for them to cause influenza. Some people may experience mild side effects like soreness at the injection site, low-grade fever, or muscle aches, but these are generally short-lived.
Is it okay to get a flu shot if you have the flu?
No, it is generally not recommended to get a flu shot if you already have the flu. The flu shot is a preventive measure, and it does not treat an existing flu infection. If you are already sick with the flu, it's best to wait until you have recovered before getting vaccinated.
How effective is the flu vaccine?
The effectiveness of the flu vaccine can vary from year to year. It depends on factors such as the match between the circulating flu viruses and those in the vaccine. Despite variations, getting vaccinated is still the best way to protect yourself and others from the flu and its complications
What are the common symptoms of the flu?
Symptoms of the flu can include fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, fatigue, headaches, and chills. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea may also occur, especially in children.
How long does the flu shot protection last?
The protection provided by the flu shot typically lasts for the duration of the flu season. However, immunity may wane over time, so it is essential to get vaccinated annually to ensure ongoing protection.
What are the side effects of the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine is generally safe, with mild side effects like soreness at the injection site, low-grade fever, headache, and fatigue. Severe reactions are rare, and the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks for most. If you have a history of severe allergies to vaccine components, consult your healthcare provider. Seek medical attention for unusual or severe symptoms post-vaccination and always consult your healthcare provider with concerns.
How long does it take for the flu shot to become effective?
It takes about two weeks for the flu shot to provide full protection. During this time, the body builds up antibodies against the influenza viruses in the vaccine. It's essential to get vaccinated early to ensure that you are protected before flu activity increases in the community.
Why is the flu shot important when COVID-19 and other respiratory illness are in the community?
Getting the flu shot is crucial to reducing the burden on healthcare systems and prevent the simultaneous spread of other respiratory viruses. It also helps protect individuals from severe illness and complications associated with the flu, which can weaken the immune system and make individuals more susceptible to other infections, including COVID-19 and respiratory illnesses.