It’s that time of year, Christmas trees, twinkly lights, dustings (or dumpings) of snow, oh and hacking coughs, fevers, aches, etc. In other words, it is flu season. Usually my family is pretty good about getting flu shots, because while there is no guarantee that will protect you from the flu, we have had a pretty good track record with it, and having the flu is no fun at all.
This year we had an appointment to get the shots the week of Thanksgiving since our daughter was off from school anyway (and young kids can often only get the shot from a doctor, not at a pharmacy or walk-up kiosk). It sounded like a perfect plan, only we got so busy that week coming back from a trip and getting ready to host Turkey Day that we simply forgot about the appointment. Our intentions were still to get the shots since flu season often runs through March, but being insanely busy now with holiday activities at C’s school, Christmas parties, and more, it hadn’t happened yet. I know, excuses, excuses.
And then the extreme exhaustion, nasty cough, body aches, congestion, and fever hit me out of nowhere. Great. By being too busy/forgetful to show up to our flu shot appointment, my consolation prize was being knocked on my tail with the flu. As soon as I recognized what was going on yesterday, I went to the doc, got diagnosed, got Tamiflu (which by the way I am convinced makes me feel at least as bad as the flu itself), and am keeping my fingers crossed that I am not the cause of a massive outbreak both in my family and at C’s school since I literally touched every single kid there hours before I started feeling sick at a Christmas Fair. I’d like to say, “lesson learned”, but the reality is I already knew better, I just goofed and apparently waited too long to fix my mistake. I’m sure flying a couple days on an airplane that sounded more like a sick ward than an airplane a couple of days before I began showing symptoms didn’t help.
So what is the solution for busy travelers who want to stay healthy during flu season, but find their schedules taking them everywhere but the doctor’s office? Well in addition to obviously washing your hands as often as possible and praying you aren’t seated next to Patient X, I love the idea of getting a flu shot in the airport itself. While not as many airports offer this service as did a few years ago, there are still a few that can give you your flu shot quickly in between flights.
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles International Airport
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
This article has more details about when/where you can get the shots in some airports. Sadly I didn’t find any info about flu shots in Texas airports this year, but regular travelers will likely find themselves transiting at least one of those participating airports. Remember it takes a couple weeks for the shots to really become effective, so don’t wait any longer than you need to, or you may end up like me. As travelers we can be even more susceptible since we are in close confines with people who may have the flu for hours at a time. Also, if you start to feel like you have the flu get yourself to a doctor ASAP if you want to take the antiviral Tamiflu, as it needs to be started in the first two days of symptoms. That means if you start feeling crummy on the road, don’t wait until you get home to seek treatment. Of course, I’m not a doctor so don’t confuse this with medical advice, but that is my “mom approved” advice.
Have you ever got a flu shot in an airport? What do you think of the idea? Regardless of how you do it, stay healthy this flu season, and apologies in advance if I’m a little light on posts while battling this crud.