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Why Should I Get a Flu Shot This Winter?

doctor giving child a flu shotLess than half of all adults will receive a flu vaccination this year, leaving them vulnerable to falling ill and spreading the disease. There are many reasons why you should get vaccinated this year.

The flu is serious and can lead to related conditions

If you catch the flu, your immune system will be lowered, allowing you to become vulnerable to other viral infections. Deaths related to the flu in the last 40 years are estimated to have reached nearly 50,000 according to the CDC. While the flu is serious in all cases, certain people may be more prone to complications. These can include:

  • Pregnant women
  • Senior citizens over the age of 65
  • People who have suffered from strokes or forms of heart disease
  • Patients with cancer, HIV or AIDS
  • Young children

A previous flu shot will not offer protection during the current season

After you receive your vaccination, your body will begin responding and fighting against it. As time goes on, your response to the virus will begin to decline as your body adjusts to the previous iteration. Since the flu changes each year, it is important to make sure you are consistently protected by annual vaccinations, which your body will be able to fight against throughout the season. The flu vaccination is altered each year to cover new strains and mutations within the virus. In addition to protecting yourself from influenza, the vaccine will be able to prevent other side effects and illnesses caused by the initial virus.

There are several vaccine types available

Doctors recommend that anyone over the age of six months receive a flu shot. For those who are afraid of needles between the ages of 2 and 49, a nasal spray can be used to administer the vaccine. There is also a smaller needle that can be used to vaccinate adults between the ages of 18 and 64. For seniors over the age of 65, there is a specialized vaccination that protects weakened immune systems. Regardless of your age or medical conditions, there will be a method of vaccination available for you.

You’ll protect your family, friends, and coworkers

The flu virus is one of the easiest viruses to spread: simply inhaling moisture when someone who has it sneezes or coughs nearby or touching an object covered in virus cells can cause you to contract the disease. By getting the shot, you will become immune to it and will be unable to spread it further. If there is an outbreak at your office or your children’s’ school, you won’t need to worry about getting sick.
The flu shot is covered by most health insurance plans and can be administered at any AFC Center.