Its Not Too Early for a Flu Shot

Flu seasons can be unpredictable. But what is predictable is that, every year, tens of millions of Americans catch the flu. Many of these cases can be prevented with a flu shot.  

“The injectable flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your family from the flu,” says Diane L. George, D.O., chief medical officer, Henry Ford Medical Group Primary Care. “A quick shot in the arm is better than suffering from the flu.”

It’s not too early to get a flu shot. Flu activity often begins to increase in October, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The flu vaccine takes up to two weeks for benefits to develop, and then offers protection all season long.

Here’s what you need to know this flu season:

What is the flu?

Influenza, or the “flu,” is a serious, contagious virus that infects the nose, throat and lung. Symptoms include fever and chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body and head aches and fatigue. Even healthy people can get the flu and become sick enough to miss significant days of school or work. The flu can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.

What shots are offered?

Henry Ford offers the quadrivalent flu vaccine to protect against four possible strains of influenza: two influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) and two influenza B viruses. We also offer the high-dose flu vaccine for people ages 65 and older.

Is the nasal spray an option?

No. The nasal spray vaccine did not provide significant protection in previous flu seasons, according to the CDC.

Who should get a flu shot?

Anyone six months of age and older should get a flu shot. Vaccination is especially important for people at higher risk, including: healthcare workers and caregivers, individuals ages 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions such as heart, lung or kidney disease, asthma, diabetes, or a weakened immune system.

What does it cost?

The flu shot is covered by most health plans with no out-of-pocket costs. If you don’t have coverage, the discounted price is $25. You can’t afford NOT to get the flu shot, when you consider the potential costs of medical care and lost days of work. 

Where can I go?

Walk-in flu shots are conveniently offered at all Henry Ford Medical Centers for existing patients without an appointment during normal business hours. All locations serve adults, and select locations serve children as well. See our flu shot locations.

What should I do if I think I have the flu?

Call the MyCare Advice Line, staffed 24/7 by registered nurses who offer free medical advice, self-care tips and guidance about if and when you should see a doctor. Call 1-844-262-1949.