TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT)– It happens every year, flu season, and this year’s season is looking to be a bad one.
The ingredients, or strains, of a flu shot are based on the southern hemisphere’s flu season, since it’s right before ours.
“Their flu season was kind of a bad season and that’s why they say ours might be as well,” Dr. Tim Borchers said. “Because of those strains and so our flu vaccine was designed to cover those.”
The CDC said flu activity has been increasing since the start of November, and is higher than usual for this time of year.
However, Dr. Borchers said if you got a flu shot this year you are almost 50% less likely to be staying home with the flu.
“And then if you do get the flu after being vaccinated, you are much less likely to have severe infection, it should be mild and short lived,” Dr. Borchers said.
That’s why he said his number one recommendation is getting the flu shot to stay healthy this winter.
He said the common misconception of getting sick after getting the shot is nothing but coincidence.
“It takes two weeks to take effect to have immunity, so any sort of illness that you would get, its a bad coincidence unfortunately, its not from the flu shot,” he said.
Dr. Borchers also noted it’s still not too late to get the vaccine, but it’s important to know that the flu shot does not cover your basic stomach flu or cold.
Even with holiday travel coming up, he said if you, or someone in your family, gets the flu to simply stay home.
He also said ways to avoid getting the flu, besides the flu shot, are as simple as washing your hands frequently and not sharing cups or utensils.