The fall season doesn’t have to mean flu season

Fall has arrived, with trees changing colors and a nip in the air. But the next few months also bring something else — flu season. Kaiser Permanente is here to help keep you and your family safe from the flu virus that always seems to appear this time of year. To do that we provide annual flu immunizations so you can enjoy all the things that make fall a special season.

With all the information out there about the best ways to prepare for flu season, how do you know which advice to take? We’re here with answers to some of your questions.

Why is it so important that everyone get a flu shot?

According to John Dunn, MD, medical director for Preventive Care at Kaiser Permanente Washington, “A flu shot is the very best thing we’ve got to prevent influenza, and the best way to keep yourself and your family healthy this winter.” Flu shots take at least 2 weeks to begin protecting you from the flu. We usually begin seeing cases in October, so now is the best time for you and your family to get flu shots.

Who needs a flu shot the most?

Everyone over 6 months of age should get a flu shot. These shots are especially important for infants, children under 5, pregnant women, people with ongoing health issues, and people 65 and older.

Why do people need to get a flu shot every year?

Annual vaccinations help protect you from new flu strains that have developed since the previous season.

What if I don’t want to get a flu shot?

Even if you don’t want to get a flu shot or think you don’t need it, it’s still a good idea. “Keeping our community healthy during flu season takes all of us,” says Lynne Sullivan, MD, a family physician at Kaiser Permanente Burien Medical Center. “Flu caused thousands of deaths in the United States last year, so we need to take it very seriously. By getting your flu shot and doing your part to stop the spread of germs, you can protect yourself, your family, your co-workers, and your friends. My colleagues and I are here to take care of you if you need us, but we’d much rather you don’t get sick in the first place.”

What should people know about FluMist?

Kaiser Permanente recommends that children get a flu shot, but for children who are fearful of needles, FluMist is better than nothing. FluMist is available at some medical centers for children 2 to 18 years old.

Where can I get a flu shot?

You can get a flu shot while you’re in one of our medical offices for any other service. Or, just walk in between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. or stop by CareClinic by Kaiser Permanente at Bartell Drugs, with 15 locations in the Puget Sound area. Find a location near you.

Want to read more about flu season and flu shots? Check out our blog post on the top 10 flu shot myths.


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