VIRGINIA BEACH, Va., (WAVY) — Time is ticking to prepare for the holidays and we’re not talking about buying gifts. If you haven’t already, doctors say now is the time to get your flu shot. That’s because it takes about two weeks to become fully effective and the holidays are prime time for exchanging germs.
Millions of people will be boarding planes, trains and automobiles to visit family and friends this holiday season and along with gifts and luggage they’ll be packing all of their germs. The CDC flu report shows little to no flu activity in much of the country currently.
At Patient First in Virginia Beach, only one person has tested positive, but Dr. Trissana Emdadi told 10 On Your Side packed planes and holiday parties are prime places to pick up a virus. Dr. Emdadi says if you’re going to be in close quarters with lots of people in it, and you know that you’re sick… try to stay home. This can help from spreading it to everyone in your family.
Dr. Emdadi advises that you can wear a mask on an airplane, especially if you are coughing to help stop the spread of germs. Otherwise, always cough into your elbow and wash your hands frequently, especially before eating or preparing food. “We know soap and water works the best, but hand sanitizer works and definitely that is an easy way to do it when you can’t wash your hands,” Dr. Emdadi said.
Even if you are not worried about getting sick over the holidays, Dr. Emdadi suggests getting yourself a shot as a gift to others. “For someone who is immunocompromised who can’t get the flu shot, it really helps if they are surrounded by people who have had their vaccines.”
You can get flu shots at your doctor’s office, many local drug stores or flu shot clinics.
Patient First says you don’t need an appointment there; just walk in and the shots are on a fast track, so there’s little wait time.
The Virginia Beach Department of Public Health will host a clinic at its Corporation Lane location next Wednesday, December 5 from 4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Only 200 doses are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Parents of children aged 3-8 should bring a copy of their immunization record if possible.