Get Ready for Winter – Make Sure Your Vaccines Are up to Date

October 27, 2021

Vaccines play a vital role in preventing disease and keeping you healthy. Getting the flu vaccine is one of the most important things you can do to stay healthy at this time of year. Tejaskumar Naik, MD, Medical Director of Infectious Disease at Corona Regional Medical Center, shares some essential health reminders.

Q. Can I still get the flu, even if I was vaccinated?older woman gets flu shot

The flu shot protects against the viruses that are predicted to be the most common in a given season, but it is not a 100 percent guarantee. There is a chance you may still get the flu. Remember, it takes about two weeks after your flu shot for antibodies to develop in your body to provide protection.

Q. How can I tell if it’s the flu or just a cold?

This can be tricky because colds and flu can have similar symptoms, but there are differences. Colds tend to come on more gradually and are more likely to cause a runny or stuffy nose, whereas the flu tends to occur more abruptly and have more severe symptoms, like feeling feverish/chills, muscle or body aches, headaches and fatigue.

Q. What should I do if I get the flu?

Call your doctor right away if you think you have the flu and ask about medications that may help you get better sooner. In some cases, the flu can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications like bronchitis and pneumonia. Older people, very young children and people with chronic medical conditions are more at risk.

Q. How else can I protect myself?

Wash your hands frequently to prevent the spread of germs and avoid touching your eyes or mouth. Also, avoid close contact with people who are sick and take good care of yourself by getting plenty of rest, staying physically active, managing stress, not smoking and eating a healthy diet with minimal processed sugar.

It is important to note that some people with specific health conditions should either delay getting certain vaccinations, or not get them at all. Please consult your doctor to make sure you are getting the vaccines appropriate for you.