Getting a flu shot is more simple than you think - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Getting a flu shot is more simple than you think

SOCASTEE, SC (WMBF) - If you have never gotten a flu shot, you're at a greater risk of catching the virus.  The sooner you get your vaccine, the better protected you are when the flu peaks.

"So some people meanwhile end up catching the flu and they think, oh my goodness, the flu virus made me sick - that's a myth,” said Janet Ibrahim with Carolina Health Pharmacy. “That's not true."

Ibrahim is a pharmacist at Carolina Health Pharmacy in Socastee. She said getting a flu shot is more important for people with diabetes, asthma, COPD, and heart disease because they are high-risk. If they were to get the flu, they are more likely to have serious complications. But the flu can be serious for anyone, and everyone is urged to get the vaccine. Ibrahim says it's also important to remember the vaccine takes two weeks to fully protect you.

If you don't have the virus or the flu shot, stay away from people who are sick. If you aren't that lucky and have gotten the flu, stay home from work and school and try not to run errands. By doing so, you will help keep others from getting sick, too. Other small actions like covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze can keep others safe. Use a tissue if one is handy, or the crook of your elbow. If your child is from ages six months to eight years old, doctors say their first vaccine should be two doses, 28 days apart.

Ibrahim also said it's highly-recommended you get the flu shot and it’s pretty simple. You come in, fill out a survey to make sure you're not allergic to ingredients in the shot, and then get the vaccination.

"We will go ahead and give you the shot," Ibrahim said. "It's give in the upper arm, inter-muscularly. It's in the muscle. And it's very common for the arm to be sore for a few days. Some people may have pain for a few days in their arm or a mild fever. That's fine."

If you're extremely sick, you shouldn't get the shot until you're feeling better. Flu season peaks between now and February, but can last until May and these shots will last until then.

For more information about the flu and to find a clinic near you, visit http://scdhec.gov/flu/

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