Best practices when getting the flu shot

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As we continue to deal with COVID-19, we also have to prepare for the flu season.

The Southern Hemisphere is normally a good preview of how the flu season is expected to go in the Northern Hemisphere, but all indications show that this year will be milder, according to Dr. Dan McGee at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital.

The improvement to public social hygiene brought on because of the pandemic is to thank for that.

While extra sleep will not necessarily help you maximize the effects of your flu shot, a lack of sleep will likely diminish its value as your body will produce fewer antibodies, according to McGee.

“Criteria that they usually use in sleep studies is greater than six hours a night or less than six hours a night,” said McGee. “And what they’ve shown is that people who have less than six hours of sleep a night don’t respond as well to the influenza vaccine.”

He said Spectrum Health is currently offering drive-through flu vaccinations at many of its facilities.