Get Your Flu Shot Here!
With the flu season approaching, it’s time to arm yourself for wellness!
During the first full week of December, most of us will probably have our minds focused on holiday shopping, parties, family gatherings and a host of festivities, but there is something equally important on the agenda: National Influenza Vaccination Week, held the week of December 3 – 9, 2017. If you have been putting off getting your annual flu vaccine, mark your calendar to do it this particular week. The flu vaccine is the single best way to protect yourself from the flu.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and its partners have chosen this week to remind individuals that even though the holidays are upon us, it is still not too late to get that vaccination. As long as the flu viruses are spreading, the vaccination should still continue throughout the entire flu season to protect as many people as possible. You might think to yourself, “I’ve already gotten sick with the flu and don’t see the need for the vaccination.” With several strains of the flu virus making the rounds, you can still benefit from the flu vaccine to protect against the other strains you’ve yet to encounter, depending on the vaccine you get.
The flu vaccine is highly important for individuals who are at high risk of developing serious complications as a result of contracting the flu, such as young children, pregnant women, people age 65 and older, and those suffering from certain chronic health conditions, including asthma, heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes. For high-risk people, the flu can be much more serious and could result in hospitalization or even death. Anyone who contracts the flu can easily pass it to someone in the high risk category, including infants younger than six months of age who are too young to receive the shot.
Even though flu season is in full effect between December and March, it is not unusual to see cases as late as May. After receiving the vaccination, it takes roughly two weeks for the antibodies that protect against the flu virus infection to develop in the body, so the earlier you receive your flu shot, the better.
Symptoms of the flu include a fever, sore throat, cough, runny or stuffy nose, muscles aches, overall fatigue and miserable days spent huddled up in bed. While millions of people will get sick from the flu with hundreds of thousands needing hospitalization, up to tens of thousands of people will die from the flu each year.
Certainly the vaccine can vary in how well it works, but studies have shown the vaccination can reduce incidences of flu, visits to the doctor and missed work or school days. The CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone over the age of six months as the first line of defense against seasonal flu viruses. Whether you get your shot at a health clinic, doctor’s office, pharmacy or clinic, when you see the sign “Get your flu shot here,” heed that advice and encourage family and friends to do the same.