Think you don’t need a flu shot? Think again. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone ages 6 months and older should get a flu shot. Here are 10 of the top reasons why you and your family should get a flu shot this year.
- Severe cases of influenza can lead to hospitalization—or worse. The CDC reports that while the rate can vary significantly from year to year, between 3,000 and 49,000 people die from the flu annually, with roughly 85 percent of those occurring in people 65 or older. Last year’s flu was one of the worst on record, with an estimated 80,000 deaths attributed to the flu.
- The odds are in your favor. Getting vaccinated decreases your chances of getting the flu by more than half.
- Even if you do still catch the flu, a vaccine usually makes symptoms milder.
- Flu vaccines reduced children’s risk of flu-related hospitalization by 74 percent, according to a 2014 study.
- For those with chronic health conditions, flu shots function as an essential preventive method. Flu shots have been shown to reduce hospitalization among people with diabetes by 79 percent and chronic lung disease by 52 percent.
- Vaccines benefit pregnant women and their developing baby. Pregnant women who received their flu shot reduce their risk for flu-associated acute respiratory infection by about half. The flu vaccine protects babies up to four months after birth.
- You won’t catch the flu from vaccines. A flu vaccine is made one of two ways: either the flu virus present in the vaccine is “inactivated” and no longer infectious, or there are no viruses present at all.
- Your shot from last year doesn’t count. Your body’s immune response from vaccination decreases over time. To keep your immune system working against the virus, annual vaccination is necessary.
- Viruses are constantly changing. The virus that went around last year might not be the same as this years. Scientists tailor formulation each year to target the year’s most prevalent strain of the virus. Yearly vaccinations decrease your chances of getting this year’s flu virus.
- You won’t just protect yourself. By getting vaccinated, you’ll slow the spread of the flu virus to those around you as well.
Flu shots are available now at all Urgent Team Care Centers, and most insurances cover the flu shot at no cost to you. If you don’t have insurance, flu shots are available for only $30. Walk-ins are welcome!