If you have ever had the flu then you know how debilitating it can be. It can come on very quickly and stop you in your tracks for days on end. The flu shot is the single best way to prevent the flu and the complications that can be associated with it. While it does not always offer 100 percent protection, it can lessen symptoms and is your best chance of avoid contracting the virus. The reason why you need a flu shot every year is to protect yourself, in addition to those around you.
Why should people get vaccinated against the flu?
The flu is a serious and in some cases deadly disease. While each season is different and some are worse than others, even in the best years millions of people are affected by the flu. Hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized due to influenza and thousands or tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year depending on the severity of the strain. The changing and evolution of the strains is the main reason why it is necessary to the shot every fall. Most doctors recommend that you get your shot in October. Getting the vaccine annually is the best way to reduce the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children and the elderly. If you are pregnant, getting the flu shot can protect your baby after birth for up to 6 months.
Who should get the flu shot?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older be vaccinated annually against influenza.
Vaccination is even more critical for the following:
- Pregnant women
- Older adults
- Young children
It is important to note that individuals with chronic medical conditions are also more susceptible to flu-related complications and are strongly urged to get vaccinated.
Some examples include:
- Cancer or cancer treatment
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Kidney or liver disease
Should everyone get the flu shot?
Some individuals should avoid the vaccination.
- Children under the age of 6 months
- Any individual with a life-threatening allergy to an ingredient in the flu shot such as eggs, gelatin, or other ingredients. Make sure to talk about this with your healthcare provider if you think you are at risk.
At Our Urgent care we are happy to discuss any concerns or questions that you have about the flu shot, but as usual, we stand by our philosophy that prevention is the best medicine. If you do come down with the flu, Our Urgent Care can provide treatment with breathing treatments, in addition to prescribing anti-viral medication.