Why You Should Get a Flu Shot

Based on statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, less than half of American adults receive a flu vaccine each year. If you’ve skipped your flu shot in the past, here are five reasons to make it a priority this season.

The flu is much more serious than the common cold.

The 2017-2018 high-severity flu season caused record-breaking illnesses and hospitalization rates. On average, over 200,000 flu-infected people are hospitalized in the US each year, states the CDC, and annual fatalities range from 3,000 to 49,000. Some people have a higher risk of developing severe complications from the flu. Be sure to get a vaccination this year if you:

  • Have asthma, COPD, kidney or liver disease, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or cancer.
  • Have heart disease or have experienced a stroke.
  • Are 65 years or older.
  • Are pregnant.

Last year’s flu shot won’t help this year.

Some vaccinations last for years before they need a booster, but flu shots are different. Influenza viruses come in many different strains and change from year to year. This is why doctors recommend getting a flu shot each fall to protect against infection in the coming flu season.

A flu shot is the most effective way to avoid getting sick.

While you can take other preventative measures – such as washing your hands often, disinfecting surfaces in your home, avoiding contact with sick people and not touching your face with your hands – getting a flu shot is the single best way to avoid getting sick. The CDC estimates that you’re 60 percent less likely to contract the flu if you get vaccinated. Just remember, this varies depending on the effectiveness of the vaccine against that season’s flu strain.

You can’t get the flu from a flu vaccine.

There’s a misconception that receiving a flu shot can make you sick, but this is impossible because the vaccination delivers inactivated viruses incapable of infecting a person. However, the process of producing protective antibodies may make you experience muscle aches and a fever for a day or two, which is highly preferred over actually getting the flu.

Also, be aware that it takes about two weeks for the flu shot to take full effect. If you’re exposed to the virus before then, you may still catch the flu. It’s also possible for a vaccine to mismatch the viruses circulating that season, reducing its effectiveness.

Most insurance plans cover the cost of flu shots.

Preventative care, including vaccinations, are covered by most health insurance plans.

To qualify for coverage, some require you to receive the shot from an in-network provider. As long as you meet the requirements of your plan, you can expect flu shots for your family to be very affordable.

Flu shots for the upcoming season become available in October. Get yours as early as possible to maximize your protection against the influenza virus. Contact Perimeter Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia at 678-999-8263 to schedule flu shots for your whole family.

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