Each year in the United States, 5%-20% of the population falls prey to the flu, driving more than 31 million people annually to seek medical help. If you want to keep you and your loved ones protected against this nasty illness, a flu shot is your best defense. Each year, the medical team at Jacinto Medical Group offers patients the latest flu shot at their Baytown and La Porte, Texas, locations. To get your flu shot, call, visit the walk-in clinic, or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.
The flu, which is short for influenza, is a virus that mainly attacks your upper respiratory tract, though it can travel down into your lungs. The flu is highly contagious and is passed from person to person through droplets in the air.
The side effects of this viral infection are often severe enough to take you out of commission for a week, or more, and can be especially dangerous for:
While most cases of the flu resolve themselves without incident, aside from a week or so of misery, the infection can be life-threatening under the right circumstances.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone age 6 months and up should get a flu shot every year. The best time to get your flu shot is before the flu season begins, which is usually in September or October. That said, if you’re late and you haven’t had the flu yet, it’s still worth vaccinating yourself at Jacinto Medical Group anytime during the flu season.
Behind every flu shot is an extraordinary, worldwide effort to figure out which strain of the virus will be most prevalent in any given year. There are 142 centers in 113 countries devoted to collecting data about the flu and its behavior throughout the year. These agencies pass along their data to one of five World Health Organization Collaborating Centers for Reference and Research on Influenza — and the CDC in the United States is one such center.
The researchers at these five centers meet twice a year to determine which strains of the flu they believe will have the biggest impact and they send this information to the manufacturers of flu shots so that they’re ready with the right vaccine. After the FDA approves the vaccine, it’s made available to health care providers like Jacinto Medical Group.
While the flu shot is predictive, the research that goes into the process offers you a 40%-60% reduced risk of contracting the illness.
To get your flu shot, call Jacinto Medical Group or visit the walk-in clinic at your nearest location. You can also book an appointment using the online scheduler.