Healthcare: Primary Care

Flu FAQ

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Protecting our Patients

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What is Baylor’s flu vaccine policy?
Baylor Medicine and Baylor College of Medicine’s flu vaccine policy requires all employees and students to receive a flu vaccine annually. This policy is in line with many other healthcare organizations, including our own affiliated hospitals, and with the CDC’s recommendation that everyone over the age of 6 months receive a flu vaccine.

Why is this policy important?
The flu vaccine policy is designed to help keep Baylor patients, as well as employees and students, healthy by reducing the spread of flu in the Baylor and Houston communities. In addition, the policy meets state requirements that healthcare facilities develop and implement policies to protect patients from vaccine preventable diseases and adheres to recommendations from the CDC and other organizations.

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Flu Vaccine Questions

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Can I get the flu from the flu shot?
No, you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. You may experience symptoms such as redness or swelling in the area of the shot or you may experience mild side effects such as headache or low fever; however this is not the flu.

Is the flu shot safe?
Yes. While you may experience side effects, actually getting the flu is likely to be worse than the side effects.

I received a flu shot less than a year ago. Is it safe to get one now?
Yes, it is safe.

I’m pregnant. Can I get a flu shot?
Yes. In fact, pregnant women are a group for whom it is specifically recommended and can receive the vaccine during any trimester of pregnancy.

Why is it important to get a flu shot?
Getting a flu vaccine is the best way to reduce the spread of influenza in the community. This protects our patients, our colleagues, our families and ourselves.

Once you get a flu shot, how long does it take before you are protected?
Generally, up to a couple of weeks. That’s why it’s best to get your flu vaccine early, before flu season is in full swing.

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Flu Questions

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When is flu season?
Influenza occurs year round. However, flu season is generally considered to be from September through March.

Who is at most risk for getting the flu and flu-related complications?
To learn more about flu and flu-related complications, check out the CDC's information. However, persons younger than 5 years old, older than 65 years old, pregnant women and people with various chronic health conditions are at increased risk.

What should you do if you catch the flu?
Most people with the flu have mild illness and do not need medical care or antiviral drugs. If you get sick with flu symptoms, in most cases, you should stay home and avoid contact with other people except to get medical care. If, however, you have symptoms of flu and are in a high risk group, or are very sick or worried about your illness, contact your Baylor doctor or other healthcare provider. Your doctor may prescribe antiviral drugs that can treat the flu. These drugs work better for treatment the sooner they are started.

Can I get the flu mist instead of the shot?
The flu mist (or nasal spray flu vaccine) is a recommended flu vaccine for the 2019-2020 flu season. Discuss your vaccine options with your care provider.

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Get Your Flu Shot

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Alicia D.H. Monroe, M.D., Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic and Faculty Affairs, explains why getting the flu shot helps protect your health, the health of your loved ones and the health of our patients and community.

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Protecting Your Health

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James McDeavitt, M.D., Senior Vice President and Dean of Clinical Affairs, explains why all members of the Baylor College of Medicine community should get a flu vaccine this year.

Learn How To Stay Healthy This Flu Season
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Prepare For Flu Season Now

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It takes about one to two weeks after receiving the vaccine to have full protection, meaning now is the time to get vaccinated.