“It’s October. The flu season has officially started. Let’s go get our flu shot,” I said to my boyfriend L last weekend. Since I’m a CVS Ambassador*, we went to the MinuteClinic at our local CVS Pharmacy for our shots. There was no line. We walked right in.
“Who wants to go first?” said Karen, the nice nurse practitioner. “Me, me, me,” I replied. I’m not a fan of needles so I wanted to get it over with. I rolled up my sleeve, took a deep yogic breath, and before I could say ‘one, two, three,’ NP Karen shot the vaccine into my left deltoid.
It was L’s turn next. “Do you want the higher dose?” asked NP Karen. “The higher dose is recommended for anyone over 65.” L agreed and soon his left deltoid was vaccinated too.
Why Should You Get A Flu Shot?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone who is eligible and at least six months old get a flu shot when the vaccine becomes available, preferably by October. Plus, according to the experts at CVS Pharmacy, getting a flu shot is the most effective way to protect yourself and your family from catching the flu.
“People may not realize that it can actually take up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to build immunity,” said Angela Patterson, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer at MinuteClinic. “For this reason, CVS Pharmacy actually recommends that patients get their flu shot as soon as the vaccine becomes available to ensure you have the best protection before flu season peaks. Additionally, influenza strains tend to change each year, so it’s very important to get vaccinated every year to make sure you are protected.”
Are you convinced yet?
Here’s one more fact from the recent CVS Health annual flu survey: “Nearly two in three (65 percent) employed Americans would still go to work even if they were feeling ill with flu-like symptoms.” Ugh! Really?
Okay people, not only should you get the flu shot, but if I were you I would tell your colleagues to get their flu shot too!
Still not convinced yet?
Let’s Battle The Myths
Experts at CVS Pharmacy have this to say about those flu myths:
♥ Myth: The flu shot gives you the flu.
“The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so people cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Minor side effects including soreness, redness or swelling where the shot was given, a low grade fever, and/or aches may occur. These side effects begin soon after the shot and usually last one to two days. Almost all people who receive the influenza vaccine have no serious problems as a result of receiving it.” (Note: L nor I had any issues after the flu shot.)
♥ Myth: The flu is only spread by coughing and sneezing.
“While the flu is spread by coughing, sneezing, and even talking, the flu virus can survive for a few hours or even a day on surfaces and in enclosed spaces. The most common way the flu virus is spread is when hands that have been in contact with contaminated surfaces go near your face. That’s why you should wash your hands frequently with soap and water or an alcohol-based cleanser.” (Think I’m going to buy extra hand sanitizer and moisturizer the next time I’m at CVS so when I constantly wash my hands they don’t get all chapped.)
Don’t Delay, Go Get Your Flu Shot Today
CVS’ 9,700 retail pharmacy locations and more than 1,100 walk-in medical clinics (MinuteClinic), have everything you need for flu prevention, including numerous flu vaccinations, over-the-counter cold and flu remedies, multivitamins and anti-bacterial cleaning products and are open every day, including evenings and weekends, with no appointment needed.¹
In addiiton, in certain states, customers will receive a $5 off $25 coupon when they get a flu shot at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic.² Patients who receive a flu shot at CVS Pharmacy or MinuteClinic locations inside select Target stores will receive a $5 Target coupon.³
More Flu Prevention Tips
After you get your flu shot, it’s still important to follow these helpful tips from the experts at CVS to make sure you stay healthy and happy this winter:
♥ Tip #1: Wash your hands
“Touching everyday items like door handles and other surfaces can be difficult to avoid. To help combat germs, wash hands frequently (especially after coughing or sneezing) with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your mouth, eyes and nose. Alcohol-based soaps and hand cleansers are effective when you are on-the-go.”
♥ Tip #2: Practice good health habits
“Getting plenty of sleep, being physically active, managing stress, drinking adequate fluids, and eating nutritious food are all healthy habits that can help to keep your immune system in top condition during flu season.”
♥ Tip #3: Stay home if you’re sick
Don’t be one of the 65 percent of employed Americans who say they would still go to work even if they were feeling ill with flu-like symptoms. It’s important to understand the preliminary symptoms of the flu, and if you are experiencing them, stay home. This will help bolster your immune system and avoid the spread of germs throughout the workplace.
Here’s to your health and happiness. Now, go get your flu shot!
*Disclosure: I’m proud to be working with CVS Pharmacy for their 2017 influencer relations program. All opinions expressed are my own, and all product claims or program details shared should be verified at CVS.com or with the appropriate manufacturers.
¹Flu shots are available when immunizing pharmacist, MinuteClinic nurse practitioner or physician assistant is on duty, while supplies last. Vaccinations vary by state based on regulations. Age restrictions apply.
² Offer is not valid in state of AR, HI, NY and NJ. $5 of $25 CVS Pharmacy coupon is not available at MinuteClinic locations in MA, PA and RI. Normal ExtraCare purchase restrictions apply for $5 of $25 CVS Pharmacy coupon.
³ Terms and conditions are applied to coupon. See coupon for details. Coupon valid for Target merchandise only. Offer available only at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations in Target from 8/14/17 through 3/31/18. Limit one per customer. $5 Target coupon cannot be issued in AR, HI, NJ, and NY and is not available at MinuteClinic locations in MA, PA and RI.