Time for Your Annual Flu Shot

Young family sitting on couch with bandaid on arms

Flu viruses are unpredictable and can change over time, so a past flu vaccine may not protect you this year. Lone Star Circle of Care recommends that everyone 6 months and older and those with underlying health conditions or compromised immune systems get a flu vaccine each year.

Flu shots are proven to prevent some cases of influenza and help shorten the duration and severity of others. The flu vaccine not only protects you but those around you. The vaccine can lower the risk of influenza-related illness, hospitalization, and death. If you have questions about whether the flu vaccine is right for you, talk to your primary care provider.

What is the Flu?

Influenza (flu) is a contagious respiratory illness caused by influenza viruses that infect the nose, throat, and lungs. Flu is different from a cold and usually comes on suddenly. Each year flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and tens of thousands of deaths in the United States.

Flu can typically cause fever and chills, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, weakness, chest discomfort cough, and headache. Each year flu causes millions of illnesses, hundreds of thousands of hospitalizations, and tens of thousands of deaths in the United States. The best way to prevent flu is by getting a flu vaccine each year.

Who Should Get a Flu Shot?

It is important that everyone get vaccinated, especially those who are in the high-risk group. That group includes:

  • Pregnant women
  • Children younger than five years old, especially 6-24 months
  • Adults 65 years and older
  • People of any age with certain chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and asthma.
  • People who live in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications

Which Flu Shots Are Offered?

Lone Star Circle of Care offers the following flu shots:

  • Fluzone standard dose: Approved for ages 6 months and older, including pregnant women.
  • Fluzone high dose: Approved for ages 65 years and older.

Are Flu Shots Safe?

The flu shot is safe and effective. Vaccines, like any medicine, can have side effects. Many people who get an annual flu vaccine have no side effects at all. Most side effects from flu vaccination are mild and go away on their own in a few days without any treatment. Different types of flu vaccines are licensed for different ages. Each person should get one that is appropriate for their age. The CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend an annual flu vaccine for all children 6 months and older.

Where Can I Get the Flu Shot?

The flu shot is now available at all Lone Star Circle of Care medical clinics near you. If you already have an existing primary care or OB/GYN appointment scheduled, you can get a flu shot at the time of your visit. An appointment is required to get a flu vaccine at Lone Star Circle of Care. Please call our Patient Navigation Center at 1-877-800-5722 to schedule an appointment. Flu shots cannot be scheduled through the Patient Portal.

What are other recommended vaccines?

Stay up to date on all recommended vaccines with Lone Star Circle of Care. The flu vaccine may be given at the same time as other vaccines. Review our list of other recommended vaccines.

How can I protect myself against the flu?

The CDC recommends that you take the following measures to protect yourself and those around you from the flu.

  • Protect: The first and most important step to protect yourself against flu viruses is getting a flu vaccine every year.
  • Avoid: Close contact with sick people should be avoided. If you cannot limit contact with someone who has the flu, avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. You can also get the flu by touching something that has the flu virus on it and then touching your mouth, eyes, or nose. It’s important to clean and sanitize surfaces and objects and wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Antivirals: If you catch the flu, antiviral drugs can be used to treat it. Antiviral drugs can alleviate the symptoms and shorten the duration of the disease. They can also prevent severe flu complications, such as pneumonia. The CDC recommends the use of antiviral drugs during the early stages of treatment for persons who are very sick from the flu and those who got it and are at high risk of severe complications.