Urgent Care for Immunizations, Vaccinations, and Flu Shots

Urgent Care for Immunizations, Vaccinations, and Flu Shots

Immunizations, vaccinations, and flu shots are essential for preventing the onset of harmful infections, including influenza, tetanus, and hepatitis A and B. Vaccinations help the body fight off and build up an immunity to certain viral and bacterial infections, which otherwise pose a great risk to our health.

It is important to stay up to date on all necessary and highly recommended vaccinations. At our urgent care facility, we can ensure that the vaccination is administered safely.

While the body is often able to fight off infections such as influenza without too much difficulty, developing such infections naturally can lead to an extreme amount of discomfort and a risk to your long-term health. Instead, it is best to prevent the infection altogether by giving your body what it needs to effectively build up an immunity.

If you or your child are not up to date on vaccinations, confused about what vaccinations are needed or simply want to receive your annual flu shot, be sure to come in for a visit and avoid any chance of falling ill due to a preventable infection.

Facts from The World Health Organization and CDC

  • Immunization currently prevents between 2-3 million deaths each year.
  • More children are being immunized worldwide than ever before.
  • Important progress has been made in vaccine research and development, including a vaccine against malaria.
  • Vaccines serve as a frontline defense against antimicrobial resistance.
  • Without vaccination, you may be at risk for serious diseases that are still common in the U.S.
  • Vaccines are one of the safest ways to protect yourself.
  • You can still receive a chickenpox vaccination as an adult.
  • Flu shots protect against three to four different strains of the influenza virus.

Questions to Ask Your Urgent Care Provider

  • What diseases can vaccinations help prevent?
  • Will there be any side effects from the vaccinations?
  • What vaccines does my child need to stay healthy? Are they up to date on vaccinations?
  • Is this vaccination absolutely necessary? What are the chances of becoming ill without it?
  • What type of vaccination will you use? Will it be in the form of a shot?
  • What do I need to do if I have a bad reaction to the shot after I leave urgent care?
  • What ingredients are used in the vaccination?
  • Can you provide a vaccination schedule so I can stay up to date on vaccinations for me and my child?
  • Will the shot be painful? Is there anything I can do to calm my child’s nerves?
  • What are my chances of getting the flu with a flu shot? What are the chances without it?
  • How does the vaccination process work?
  • Is there anything I need to do after the shot to ensure that I do not get sick?

Flu Shots

Influenza — more commonly referred to as the flu — is a viral infection that affects the respiratory tract. The flu is commonly confused with the common cold, although they are completely separate illnesses, and the flu is often much more serious.

The main symptoms of the flu include a cough, sore throat, body aches, fatigue, and a possible fever. While in most cases it is easily treated with antiviral medication and proper rest, it is best to take precautionary measures to try and keep from contracting the flu in the first place.

One of the best ways to try and prevent the flu is with a flu shot, which is a vaccination that involves injecting a small sample of the virus into the body and allowing the body to naturally fight it off. While some may argue that having the body fight off the actual case of the flu is better for long-term prevention, depending on this strategy can be much more dangerous. There is also no evidence to support the claim that the flu contracted naturally helps build up a better immunity than receiving a shot. In most cases, receiving a flu shot does not cause any side effects, although in some instances, there may be minor flu symptoms such as fatigue and a slight fever that follow.

The best way to prevent the flu is by receiving a flu shot yearly. While you can get a flu shot at any point throughout the year, it is often best to do so during the fall season, which helps ready your immune system for the cold, winter months when the flu is the most prevalent. If you want to learn more about flu shots and how they can benefit you, be sure to consult with us.


Other Important Vaccinations and Immunizations

Along with receiving a yearly flu shot, there are several other vaccinations that can be beneficial for the prevention of various different infections. Here are common immunizations that can be administered at our urgent care facility:

  • Hepatitis A and B
  • Measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR)
  • Tetanus

While there are more vaccinations available and every individual has their own vaccination schedule, the above — along with a flu shot — are the most important to the most people.

Hepatitis is a fairly serious infection to the liver that can cause extreme fatigue, nausea and stomach pain. Fortunately, both hepatitis A and B are easily prevented by a vaccination. While hepatitis A and B can typically be fought off and a full recovery can be made, it is best to receive a vaccination and prevent its onset altogether.

Additionally, measles, mumps, and rubella can be even more of a concern then hepatitis, especially for young children. Subsequently, it is crucial to receive a vaccination for measles, mumps, and rubella — typically referred to as the MMR vaccine — in order to prevent developing these serious infections.

Tetanus is also a common vaccination and for good reason. Tetanus — a bacterial infection that can cause very painful muscle spasms and lead to death — can spread through contact with a contaminated object. As such, it can happen seemingly out of nowhere and can be extremely difficult to treat if a vaccination has not been administered. Fortunately, however, it is preventable by a vaccination, and it is crucial for children to stay up to date on tetanus shots.

If you are unsure over whether you or your child are up to date on vaccinations, be sure to contact us and let us help you determine what is needed.

How Vaccinations Work

While it may not be necessary to understand all the small details of how exactly the body fights off an illness, it is important to have a general sense of what happens when the body becomes infected, in order to understand how vaccinations work. Quite simply, once the body becomes infected by a bacteria or virus, the germs begin to multiply and attack the body. White blood cells then fight the infection. It typically takes the body several days to completely fight off the infection, and then the body is able to remember how to do so the next time the infection develops.

A vaccination works by imitating the infection in a smaller amount, which allows the body to effectively fight off the infection and build up an immunity. Since the vaccination is much weaker than getting the infection naturally, your body is able to fight it off without generating any symptoms.

As mentioned, there is an argument made by some that it is better for the body to fight off the infection naturally. Relying on this can be incredibly dangerous, especially for more serious infections such as tetanus or measles. Additionally, vaccinations work well and are safe, so there is no reason to doubt their effectiveness or be skeptical about their safety when administered by a medical professional.

Lastly, it is important to keep in mind that many vaccinations require more than one dose in order to work to its full effect. In the event that we recommend several doses to prevent the same infection, it does not mean the first vaccination did not work, but rather that the body needs to fight off the vaccinations several times in order to build up an immunity.


Who Should Be Vaccinated

Here at our urgent care facility, we follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in order to determine who should be vaccinated. It is highly recommended that all healthy individuals receive a yearly flu vaccine, but most immunizations do not need to be received annually. In order to ensure that you or your child receive the recommended vaccinations and stay up to date, be sure to contact us and allow us to guide you through the immunization process.

There are certain groups that are at a much higher risk of developing an infection and need to ensure they are up to date on all vaccinations, more than others. Children over the age of six months and under the age of four should be properly vaccinated. For many of the same reasons, adults over the age of 50 should stay properly vaccinated and ensure that they receive their annual flu shot, as they may not be able to fight off influenza as effectively as when they were younger.

Another group at high risk of getting an infection, particularly the flu virus, are caregivers who work with sick patients routinely. Also, caregivers who work with children under the age of four or over the age of 50 need to be sure to receive a yearly flu shot themselves, as well as any other immunizations that they may need, both in order to stay healthy and to not spread infection.

Lastly, nursing home residents or individuals who spend an above average amount of time in a hospital should be extra cautious and ensure that they receive their yearly flu vaccination. This is due to the fact that there is typically more illness in nursing homes and hospitals, and it is important to prevent developing a contagious infection, such as influenza. By being safe and staying properly vaccinated, it is much easier to prevent falling ill.

Consult With Us

At our urgent care facility, we have a staff of medical professionals and all the necessary materials and resources necessary to ensure that the needed vaccinations are administered properly and safely.

Without the proper immunizations, you run the risk of becoming seriously ill due to a viral or bacterial infection, such as influenza, hepatitis or tetanus. However, receiving timely vaccinations can help prevent the onset of suffering from symptoms when confronted with the germs that lead to the infection.

In the event you are unsure about whether you need a certain vaccination or simply want to receive your annual flu shot, consult with us by giving us a call or coming in for a visit. There is no appointment necessary, so feel free to visit at a time that is most convenient for you, and we promise to treat you as quickly and effectively as possible.

FAQ

Q: I do not have a copy of my vaccination record. Is it important for me to keep it?

A: It is important to keep details of any and all vaccinations you have received over the years, although it is not completely necessary to do so. Retaining detailed immunization records is important because tracking down the records elsewhere can be a real challenge. However, you can, in most cases, track down vaccination history by checking with you or your child’s doctor, the state health department and/or your or your child’s schools. For a trusted recollection of vaccination history, it is recommended to keep your own information properly documented.

Q: I have heard a lot about how vaccinations are needed. What happens if I am not vaccinated and/or my child is not vaccinated?

A: While there is a chance that you may avoid becoming ill without the vaccination, receiving the vaccination, whether it is for influenza, tetanus or any other form of illness, greatly reduces the odds of getting sick. There are individuals who argue that vaccinations are dangerous, but there is no evidence to support that. In fact, vaccinations save millions of lives each year. For optional vaccinations, such as a flu shot, the consequences are less dire. That said, a flu shot can help you be around others who have the flu without too much fear of getting sick yourself.

Q: I understand vaccinations help with prevention. Do vaccinations help with treatment also?

A: Vaccinations do not help with treatment, meaning that once you are infected and show symptoms of an illness, receiving more of the bacteria or virus from an immunization shot will not be effective. Vaccinations are only administered as a means of preventing an illness from developing in the first place. Due to this, it is encouraged to receive immunizations before the illness often presents itself. For instance, it is important for children to receive a shot for measles, mumps, and rubella at a young age, and it is encouraged for adults to receive a flu shot in the fall before the winter months, which is when the influenza virus is most prevalent.

Q: What is “the flu season?”

A: The flu season refers to the time of year when you are most susceptible to picking up the influenza virus, which is typically during the winter months. Although influenza is not caused by cold weather, it does happen to be the most prevalent during the cold months, and it is best to get a flu shot before flu season begins. With that said, you can receive a flu shot at any point during the year, and it is encouraged to get one even if you are already in the midst of the flu season.

Q: What do I need to know before getting a flu shot? Are they actually safe? Will I get sick from a flu shot?

A: Flu shots are safe. In essence, the idea of a flu shot is to inject you with a small substance of influenza and allow your body to fight it off, which the body then remembers how to do when confronted with the influenza virus naturally. While there may be small side effects from a flu shot that go away within a day or two, it is extremely rare for anyone to become sick from a flu shot. If you want to schedule a flu shot or discuss the possibility in further depth, be sure to come in for a visit to our urgent care facility.

Q: What vaccinations require a booster shot?

A: There are times when a vaccination requires more than one dosage to work properly. The following shot after the initial vaccination is referred to as a booster shot. Although there are many kinds, here are a few immunizations that need a booster shot: influenza, tetanus, measles, human papillomavirus, hepatitis and meningococcal. If you are unsure of whether you need a booster shot, come in for a visit or give us a call, and we can help guide you through the vaccination process.

Definitions

Booster shot

A term used to describe a shot that is administered after an initial shot is given. A booster shot is used to help support the immune system in the long term.

Different types of influenza

There are three different types of influenza, which are influenza A, influenza B, and influenza C. While each one requires treatments, some are more serious than others.

Diphtheria

A serious infection of the nose and throat that makes it very difficult to breathe. Fortunately, diphtheria is easy to prevent with a vaccination.

Hepatitis

There are three different types of hepatitis (A, B and C), and they are all preventable by a vaccine. Hepatitis can cause severe fatigue, nausea, and abdominal pain.

Immunity

The ability of the immune system to fight off and resist a particular form of infection. One who is immune to an infection has “built up an immunity” toward that particular bacteria or virus.

Immunization/Vaccination

A vaccination or immunization is the injection of a substance into the body, such as influenza, used to help the body build up an immunity to the bacteria or virus.

Influenza

Most commonly referred to as the flu, influenza is a viral infection that causes symptoms of a runny nose, constant coughing, chills, fatigue, and fever. It can be treated with medical assistance.

Measles

A very complicated infection that leads to flu-like symptoms, a fever, and a red rash. While serious in young children, measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) are preventable by vaccination.

Tetanus

A severe bacterial infection that can cause severe pain and muscle spasms. Tetanus is a serious illness, but it is preventable through a vaccination.

Viral infection

A virus is a microscopic organism that invades and reproduces inside the body. The act of this invasion is referred to as a viral infection, which often causes an illness such as influenza or the common cold.

Are you considering immunizations in the Ocala area? Get more vaccinations and flu shots information by calling (352) 233-4178.