Fall is Flu Shot SeasonThe beautiful fall season has arrived, and so has the ugly flu season. The Shingletown Medical Center (SMC) now has flu shots available with no appointment necessary. The cost of the flu shot is $20.00 unless you have Medicare or Medi-Cal. If you already have an appointment for a different reason, you can have your flu shot administered at that time.

The flu, short for influenza, is a respiratory disease caused by the influenza virus. Some common symptoms are fever, cough, sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches and fatigue. The flu season usually runs from October through May.

The seasonal flu shot is a vaccine taken to protect against the flu every year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu shots are recommended for all Americans over the age of 6. As the strains of the virus keep changing, a new vaccine is made every year based on predictions about how the strains will evolve.

When should you get a flu shot? Health officials recommend that people get their flu shot in early fall — by the end of October, as the exact duration of the season is not predictable. Each season’s shot expires in June every year. As it takes almost two weeks to build up immunity after the vaccine, some people may catch the flu during this time period, if exposed to the virus, so it is best to get the shot early before the flu outbreak.

Who should not get a flu vaccine? Children under 6 months cannot get a flu shot, in addition to those who have previously had a severe allergic reaction to a flu vaccine. Even people suffering from high fever are recommended to wait until the fever subsides to take the shot. Studies show flu vaccines are safe for women in any stage of pregnancy, according to the CDC. Also, vaccination during pregnancy helps to protect the child against flu while they cannot be administered the vaccine.

What are the side effects? There are mild side effects of the flu shot — soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site, low-grade fever and aches. More serious side effects like allergic reactions are rare. The side effects last a short time compared to the actual flu, and they don’t affect everyone in the same manner.

If you have further questions or concerns regarding getting a flu shot or the pricing, please call and you will be guided to the appropriate individual to answer your questions (530) 474-3390. Also, when arriving for your shot please provide your primary insurance carrier.

Shingletown Medical Center (SMC) Board Members and Staff wish you a Happy & Healthy Fall Season!