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Flu Season is on the horizon – get prepared now with a flu shot!

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine as the first and most important step in protecting against flu viruses.  Getting a flu vaccination can reduce flu illnesses, doctors’ visits, and missed work and school due to flu, as well as prevent flu-related hospitalizations.

ADC urgent care pediatrician Lisa Gaw, MD and family nurse practitioner Howard Baade, FNP visited the KXAN studios recently to discuss the upcoming flu season.

When does flu season begin?

The flu season typically begins in October, peaking December through February and sometimes lasting through April and even May.

What should people do to prevent flu?

Get your flu shot now.  They are typically offered beginning in early September through the end of November or early Decemeber.

Is there any benefit to waiting to get your flu shot?

Ideally you want to be vaccinated by the end of October to be prepared before the peak season between December and February.  It does take a few weeks for the vaccine to become effective.  Dr. Gaw further advises that children from 6 months to 8 years old who are receiving the vaccine for the first time, need an additional booster 4 weeks later.  So, it is best to get shots for younger children scheduled as soon as you can.

What about going to school – does getting back to school make it worse?

Doctors will recommend that if you have the flu that you remain at home for about a week.  This will help with patient recovery and avoid spreading the flu to those around you – at school or at work.

With the hurricanes and flooding we’ve heard reports of vaccine shortages.  Are you experiencing any shortage?

ADC has received it’s vaccine and is giving flu shots at all locations now.  We have had no indication of shortages at this time.   We’ll keep patients updated on our website ADClinic.com or they may call our Flu Hotline at 512-901-7117.

Flu differs from year to year.  Is there any indication of if the flu season this year will be good or bad?

The CDC is the best source for evaluating flu seasons.  Howard says they typically know very quickly whether the season will be good or bad.  But for now, he recommends getting that flu shot to be prepared.

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