Is it Too Late for My Flu Shot?

The peak of flu season usually happens between the end of fall and early winter as the temperature begins to drop more and more. Without a flu shot, patients are likely to experience several uncomfortable symptoms and potentially weeks of missed school or work.

Healthcare providers do a great job of recommending the flu shot several months in advance so patients can stay immune ASAP. Most campaigns heavily emphasize the need for early vaccination, which may sometimes dissuade some patients from getting their flu shot. If a patient believes that it is too late for their flu shot, they may assume that it is not effective.

The urgent care team at AFC Waltham wants to let you know that getting your flu shot anytime you can before the flu season is much better than skipping at all!

Any flu shot is still the most effective way to prevent the flu

Regardless of whether you get a flu shot months in advance, or just a few weeks, you’ll benefit from vaccination. The flu shot takes a few weeks to create the necessary immunity in your body, which is why it is recommended early. But forgoing the flu shot altogether is far worse than getting it late.

A late season flu shot can still improve your chances of immunity by 40-50% more than unvaccinated patients. Flu shots are proven to be a significant factor in staying healthy during the peak of flu season.

Expect more intense flu symptoms without a shot

A late flu shot could expose your body to some flu-like symptoms but no flu shot could lead to the worst possible symptoms during flu season.

Healthcare providers and public health experts cannot emphasize enough the importance of any seasonal flu shot; whether it is an early flu shot or later in the season. Flu shots can help to ease your body into certain symptoms and gradually build necessary immunity. Direct and unguarded exposure to the flu virus may result in longer flu symptoms, sometimes upwards of two weeks!

Flu shots are fast at urgent care

If you need a last-minute shot, then it certainly helps to visit an urgent care center that provides flu vaccines in a few minutes!

An urgent care center is equipped with an accessible walk-in clinic that allows patients to conveniently schedule a flu shot without an appointment. A few PCPs and ERs offer the flu shot but it could take much longer to complete than at an urgent care. Simply bring in any insurance information and ID to get started at a nearby clinic!