The importance of a flu shot for home dialysis patients
Your Cincinnati Home Dialysis care team understands the importance of prevention. That’s why with COVID-19, it’s especially important to safeguard your health this year. A flu shot is a great way for home dialysis patients to prepare for the approach of flu season.
What is a flu shot?
Because every flu season is different, the flu vaccine targets different strains every year. Researchers identify three to four of the most likely strains to effect the population and create a vaccine for those strains. You can’t get the flu from a flu shot because the strains are inactive.
What does it do?
The inactive flu strains in the flu shot help your body build defensive antibodies over the course of two weeks after you receive the vaccine. When peak flu season rolls around, these antibodies will help prevent you from getting sick, or if you do get sick, they can significantly lessen the severity of your symptoms and help you recover quicker.
Why do you need it?
Getting a flu shot is critical for home dialysis patients because chronic kidney disease weakens your immune response and increases your risk of complications from the flu. Because the flu and COVID-19 are different viruses, it’s technically possible to contract both at the same time. The flu shot gives you extra defenses against severe flu symptoms that could lead to hospitalization or death. Chronic kidney disease patients at any stage are able to receive a flu shot, according to the CDC.
Where and when should you get a flu shot?
Home dialysis patients should receive a flu shot before flu season begins. September/early October is a great time to get a flu shot at your doctor’s office or your local Kroger, Meijer, CVS, Walgreens, or Walmart stores. Many insurance companies cover the cost of the flu shot, but check with your provider before you go.