The flu might just make you miserable for a couple weeks, but Influenza can be a much more serious infection for others. For seniors, children and people with compromised immune systems are much more at risk. Creating a level of herd immunity helps everyone.
The 2017 flu season was the deadliest on record since 1976 with 80,000 deaths related to the influenza virus in the US alone according to the CDC.
- Your chances of catching the flu are reduced by 90% by getting the flu shot!
Those are pretty good odds and considering how easy it is to get the shot it makes it well worth the gamble. The flu shot is designed each year to prevent the worst strains of influenzas that present the biggest threat to human life.
- Most Americans can get the shot free of charge.
In the US, most people can get the flu shot free of charge from many different locations. Check with your doctor and make an appointment. It’s also easy to add to an already scheduled appointment you may during flu season. You can also get the flu shot at many pharmacies as well.
- You’ll use fewer sick days for work and school.
Missing work can mean less money in your pocket for many workers in today’s economy. But, even if you are fortunate enough to have a salaried job, you still have a limited number of sick days. The flu can easily mean missing multiple days depending on the severity of the symptoms. Influenza costs US companies around 7 billion dollars annually in lost productivity.
- The immunization is specifically developed for you.
Influenza is not the common cold. In fact, it’s the 8th leading cause of death in the US. Seniors, infants, and those with compromised immune systems are most at risk. Each year, specific versions of the flu are developed for each group of people. Your doctor will know which version you need, so all you have to do is how up and pull up your sleeve.
- It helps to protect your senior family members.
By getting the shot yourself, you help create herd immunity to lessen the chance of overall infection throughout the population. But, there’s also a specifically developed version of the flu shot that’s given to seniors 65 and older. Do what you can to help the seniors in your life to get the flu shot by giving them a ride, helping to make the appointment, etc.
- It protects people with a weakened immunity system.
Influenza can make existing medical conditions much worse. So, for anyone with chromic or existing medical conditions, the flu shot is very important to include in their treatment regimen.
- Not everyone can be immunized.
Infants less than 6 months old can’t get the flu shot. Yet they are the highest risk group of flu-related hospitalizations and deaths. So, for this group in particular, it’s important for everyone else that can get the shot to do so.
- You can help protect everyone from influenza.
We get exposed to germs just from being around other people. We can all do what we can to minimize exposure by washing our hands, coughing or sneezing into our elbow. But, no amount of casual prevention is equal to being immunized. Herd immunity means there’s less chance to spread the virus because fewer people are carrying it.
- The flu shot is safe.
There’s a lot of false information out there about how the flu shot can make you sick. This is patently false. Yes, certain individuals can experience some mild side effects like: headache, stuffy nose, muscle stiffness, sore throat or swollen glands. But, compared to getting the full-blown flu, getting the shot and suffering those side effects is well worth it.
- Being immunized can save your life.
Our health and wellbeing is our most valuable possession. So, safeguarding yourself with immunizations should be a no-brainer. Sure, getting the flu could just present itself as a mild annoyance, but it could turn into something far worse and cause more serious complications. Why take the risk?