Be Ready for Flu Season

Posted 10/11/22
Female wiping nose with tissue

Flu viruses love fall and winter, but by taking a few simple steps and being mindful, you can stay healthy—and help others around you stay healthy, too.

1. Get a flu shot. Getting vaccinated is the number one thing you can do to protect yourself against flu. The Centers for Disease Control recommend a flu vaccine for everyone six months of age and up. If you’re 65 or older, talk with your doctors about higher-dose flu shots, designed for people at high risk of developing complications from flu.

Patient getting band-aid

Got a shot last year and not sure if you should again? The viruses keep changing—and so do the vaccines. This year’s vaccines are formulated to help safeguard you from the most common viruses that experts expect to circulate this season.

Need more convincing? Here are four reasons to get a flu shot:
  • Avoid the flu. In the 2019-2020 flu season, vaccinations prevented 7.5 million cases of the flu. 
  • Cut down on trips to the doctor. Studies show the vaccine lowers the chance of needing medical care by 40 to 60 percent.
  • Avoid severe illness. If you do get the flu, studies show you’re likely to get a milder case if you’ve been vaccinated. 
  • Help others stay healthy. From babies and kids to seniors and people with chronic conditions, your vaccination helps reduce the chance of spreading the flu virus to others who may be at great risk for getting severely sick with the flu.

  • Parent helping child wipe nose

    2. Practice healthy habits. Vaccines are our first line of defense, but these simple actions are also important ways to stop the spread of germs, says the CDC.

    • Keep your distance. Whether you’re sick or you’re around others who are sick, avoid close contact. 
    • Stay home when you’re sick. Don’t go to school or work, and hold off on errands to protect others. 
    • Wash your hands often. Use soap and water or alcohol-based liquid. Scrub or rub for at least 20 seconds. 
    • Cover up. Place a tissue over your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze.
    • Don’t touch your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth. 
    • Take care of yourself. Stay rested, keep active, eat well, stay hydrated, and cope with stress. 
    • Keep it clean. Surfaces you and your family touch often should be routinely cleaned and disinfected.

    Female holding tea

    3. Heed your doctor’s advice about antiviral drugs. If you get the flu and your doctor prescribes an antiviral drug, take it. These drugs have been shown to reduce the severity of the flu and the length of time you are sick. This is especially helps people at high risk—such as those with asthma, diabetes, or heart disease—avoid complications and stay out of the hospital.

    To learn more about seasonal flu and keep up with the latest recommendations throughout flu season, visit the CDC website.

    Try to get your shot by the end of October. It takes about two weeks to develop protective antibodies. That way you’ll be ready before the worst of the flu arrives.
    Martin Wesolowski, MD, Medical Director at Martin’s Point Health Care
    Three Ways to Get a Flu Shot
    • Visit a Martin’s Point’s Flu Vaccine Clinic at any of our Health Centers (schedule and location here).

    • Visit your MyMartin’sPoint® patient portal or call your Health Care Center to schedule an appointment.

    • Have an appointment soon? Ask your provider if you can get your flu shot during that visit.