MURRELLS INLET, SC (WBTW) – The peak of flu season is coming, but how important is getting a flu shot?
Dr. Dennis Rhoades, who sees patients at Doctors Care offices along the Grand Strand and in the Pee Dee, including the office in Murrells Inlet, says if you haven’t gotten your flu shot yet, there’s no time like the present.
“If we can protect a majority of the population starting out, when the flu does enter our region, we have all these folks who are already immunized, and they’re not going to get sick,” he said.
Dr. Rhoades says if you get the flu shot, you could still get the flu, but the good news if you do?
“You’re not nearly as sick with it and your chance of spreading it is decreased and your chance of getting the co-morbid problem of pneumonia and death is cut way back,” he said.
As far as success rate, a young, healthy person would get a great response to the shot, but an older person with a weak immune system may not.
“I recommend the flu shot for everybody,” said Dr. Rhoades.
Whether you’ll get the flu depends on if you have stayed in one region for a long period of time, if you sleep well, eat well or take care of your body regularly.
“All it takes is, like I say, one person in the office with the flu, and the rest of the population in the office isn’t protected, hasn’t gotten their flu shot, it’s going to run right through the office,” said Dr. Rhoades.
What about herd immunity that says if enough people get the shot, that those who didn’t could be safe against the flu? Dr. Rhoades says there’s no such thing when it comes to the flu, meaning you should protect yourself by getting the vaccine.
“It’s a different virus, it’s a different strand, or strands every year. Now, you can get herd immunity with something like polio, you can get herd immunity with measles, and mumps and rubella,” he said.
Dr. Rhoades says he’s already seen several people coming into Doctors Care offices along the Grand Strand like the Murrells Inlet office to get their flu shot.