ORLANDO, Fla. – AdventHealth will be offering free flu shots at several of its Centra Care locations next week ahead of what doctors said will be a busy flu season and News 6 once again is partnering with the health care system to get the word out.
With flu season around the corner, physicians want to address the challenges and common misconceptions that come with it.
“Every year, you have to battle the myths, and one of the biggest myths is, ‘Hey, I got a shot and then I got the flu later, what happened?’” Dr. Scott Brady, the vice president of ambulatory services for AdventHealth, said.
Brady told News 6 that the most common question during flu season is whether the vaccine shot will develop the virus in someone.
“Some people, a very small percentage of people, when they get the flu shot, their body will say, ‘Hey, something new is here.’ You begin to mount up an immune response and you might feel a little achy for a few hours, maybe even an evening. A couple of Tylenol will help that, but you won’t catch the flu from that,” he said.
Physicians with AdventHealth Centra Care said last year, the flu season wasn’t too active, but they do believe this year it will hit much stronger.
How do they know? They took a look at what happened in the Southern Hemisphere.
“We see this year that Australia, which is really specific for what we usually see, got the influenza early and strong,” Brady said. “We are predicting that it’ll come a little earlier. Meaning what? Meaning probably November-ish, December-ish into January. So now is the time to get the flu shot.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, influenza hospitalizations during the 2020-21 flu season were the lowest recorded since this type of data collection began in 2005.
But doctors said the virus is coming back full force this season.
Brady said this year, the flu vaccine will protect from four different strains of influenza.
“We look at the influenza that hits the Southern Hemisphere and we see which strains of the influenza are the predominant strain,” he said. “Usually in any flu season, there’s two or three different strains of the influenza that are floating around and then we make a vaccine that will treat those.”
Physicians like Brady said if you are not vaccinated against the flu and are exposed to someone who is sick with the virus, chances are you will get sick, and those who are immune-suppressed are more vulnerable to the virus.
“You get highway fevers, you get a headache, you get muscle aches. Most patients will say, ‘Doc, I feel like I’ve been hit by a truck.’ It’s just ‘ugh,’ and it’ll last for 7 to 10 days,” Brady said. “Especially if you have any chronic medical diseases, any lung disease, heart disease, chronic medical disease, diabetes, hypertension—please get the flu shot. Doesn’t cost you a thing. It’s so easy and simple. It’s a great way to get your flu shot, especially if you don’t have insurance. If you can’t afford to go somewhere, please come by. We want everyone to be protected.”
The AdventHealth free flu shot events take place at the following locations:
- Colonial Town Centra Care -- Monday, Oct. 10, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- New Ocoee Centra Care -- Wednesday, Oct. 12, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
- New Horizon West Centra Care -- Thursday, Oct. 13, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
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