Everyone ages six months and older needs to get their annual flu shot. The flu shot is the best defense against getting sick. However, even though more Americans are getting vaccinated each year, there are some who still need convincing that getting a flu shot is important to keeping yourself and your community healthy. Here are five good reasons to get the flu shot.
1. The flu can be fatal
Many don’t associate getting the flu with dying. But, tens of thousands die from the flu, on average, each year. Groups who are at risk include young children, adults ages 65 years and older, pregnant women and those diagnosed with certain medical conditions.
2. You can spread the flu to someone at risk
Even if you don’t show symptoms, you can spread the influenza virus to others. Spreading the virus to people with a weakened immune system or who are considered at risk could put their health in serious danger. Hence, if you think you exhibit symptoms, it is imperative that you wear a face shield with glasses whenever you go out. Someone with the flu can spread it to people up to six feet away, making it a very contagious illness, which brings me to the next topic: is uv-c lighting effective against viruses?
3. The flu shot doesn’t make you sick
One of the biggest myths about the flu shot is that it will give you the flu. It doesn’t. The virus in the vaccine is not a live virus and therefore cannot give you the flu. Some people have reactions or side effects from the flu vaccine such as a headache, stuffy nose or sore throat. These symptoms should pass within a day or so.
4. Save your sick days
Getting over the flu can take days or even weeks. Getting your flu shot can prevent or reduce the amount of sick days you would have taken had you not been vaccinated. According to ww.flu.gov, the flu causes U.S. workers to lose up to 111 million workdays at an estimated $7 billion a year in sick days and productivity.
5. Get the flu shot that’s right for you
Each year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determines which flu strains will be most prevalent for that year and creates a flu vaccine to protect against those strains. Furthermore, you can get a flu vaccine that is best for you based on your age or allergies. The high-dose flu shot was specifically created for seniors ages 65 and older and contains four times the amount of antigens. Those with an allergy to thimerosal can opt for the preservative-free vaccination. Finally, the quadrivalent flu shot is available to anyone ages six months or older and offers broader protection against more strains of the influenza virus.
Whatever your reasoning is, get your flu shot. The VNA holds flu clinics throughout Indian River and Brevard counties at convenient and public locations. The clinic schedule can be found here. Money raised through the VNA’s Shoo the Flu program stays within the community and contributes to the non-profit healthcare organization’s initiative to provide charitable patient care. Anyone who does not have health insurance or the money to cover the cost of the flu shot can call 772.978.5524 to inquire about getting a free flu shot.