It’s not too late

By Harriet Siegrist

The flu vaccination is to help keep you from getting sick with the flu. The vaccine is able to help prevent millions of illnesses and related doctor visits every year. The season tends to run from October to May, and it is recommended that the shot should be administered before the virus hits your community. Thankfully, it is not too late for you to get your flu shot for the year. The time is now to take care of your body. If you’re not convinced that you want to get the flu vaccine, keep on reading to learn some more reasons why it can be important for your well-being.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention; “during 2016-2017, the flu vaccination prevented an estimated 5.3 million influenza illnesses, 2.6 million influenza- associated medical visits, and 85,000 influenza- associated hospitalizations.”

When the vaccine has matched the strains of influenza that are circulating, the shot has been shown to reduce the risk of needing the doctor by 40 to 60 percent. Receiving the shot may also help prevent serious medical events that are associated with some chronic conditions. Among people with heart disease, especially those who have had a cardiac event in the last year, statistics have shown that the vaccination has shown lower rates of some cardiac events. In some other related studies that can be found on the US National Library of Medicine website, there have been separate studies that show flu vaccinations have reduced hospitalizations among those with diabetes and or chronic lung disease.

Vaccinations also help protect women who are pregnant or recently have had their child. A study that was done through Infectious Diseases Society of America, showed that getting a flu shot reduced a pregnant woman’s chance of being hospitalized with the flu by an average of 40 percent. Alongside this study, many others have shown that the flu vaccine being given during pregnancy could help protect the baby from the flu infection for several months after they are born. This is important because a newborn is not old enough to be vaccinated. A flu vaccine is life saving for a child and it is able to significantly reduce a child’s risk of death from influenza.

Another benefit is that it has been shown to reduce severity of illness in people who have gotten the shot but still get sick. It has been seen that the vaccination has reduced death, hospitalizations, and duration of stay in hospital for flu patients that have been hospitalized. Not only are flu shots important because they help protect you from the virus and keep yourself healthy, the flu shot is important because not everyone around you is able to receive the flu shot. By you getting the flu shot, you can help those around you be protected from the virus. This is especially important to those who tend to be more vulnerable to serious flu illnesses which include babies and young children, older people, and also people who have some chronic health conditions.

A shot may hurt, but it may help to think that it is five seconds of pain for months of better health. If thinking of helping yourself and your health isn’t enough, remind yourself that there are others around you every day who may be unable to receive the vaccination. Those people may be relying on others to get the flu shot so that they may have less of a chance of catching the virus.

A few places to go schedule a flu shot or walk in if they offer that service are, Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy and Hy-Vee.

Take care of yourself this flu season and have a healthy rest of your year.

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