5 Reasons To Get A Flu Shot
October is the beginning of many things, cool, crisp air, leaves falling, football, pumpkin spice everything. It is also the start of cold and flu season. We can probably sound like a broken record in the healthcare community, but the best defense remains a good offense! And a good offense includes a yearly influenza vaccine.
Below we have listed five reasons to get a flu vaccine this year. We realize no one likes to get a shot or be stuck with needles. But overall it’s a tiny inconvenience that can mean a lot of good for our whole community!
It Changes Each Year
Even if you received an influenza vaccine last year, there are reasons for getting it each year. Namely, your body’s immune response from vaccination declines over time. There are multiple strains of the influenza virus, which change in prevalence from year to year. The vaccine created for each year is designed specifically for the strains expected to be most widespread by healthcare professionals.
It’s Available and Often Doesn’t Cost Much If Anything
Go to the pharmacy: there’s a flu vaccine. Grocery Store? There too. Health Department? Yup. Your Doctor’s Offices? You bet. The widespread availability and the relatively low cost that comes along with the influenza vaccine leads to a “why not?” scenario. Health professionals have worked to make vaccines for influenza as readily available to the public for a reason.
It’s Not Just About Your Health
Even if you don’t exhibit symptoms of the flu, you can carry it and pass it to those around you. The flu can mean severe health consequences especially to those most vulnerable in our communities. The elderly and the young can have serious even life-threatening reactions to influenza, which can lead to hospitalization or even death. The CDC estimates that 200,000 are hospitalized each year, and 36,000 on average are expected to die. So it’s no passing matter to consider getting a flu shot for all within your home.
It’s Better To Get It Early
Not just to get it over with, though that’s a good point, the vaccine takes on average about two weeks to take full effect. So it’s better to get your flu vaccine before flu season gets moving to give the vaccine time to work in your immune system. Plus, you’re starting the season off on the right foot with the best prevention possible.
The CDC estimates that a flu vaccine can reduce your chances of contracting the flu by 40-60% among the overall population. The preventative number varies based on the specific strains included in the vaccine, and how the influenza virus develops over the course of the season. And even if you do get the flu virus, the vaccine has been shown to reduce the severity of symptoms and the length of the virus’s gestation in your body.
So what are you waiting for? Get your influenza vaccine as soon as possible, and check it of your todo list. Your community thanks you, and your overall health will too!