Winter is slowly approaching. Unfortunately, the colder temperature also brings along the beginning of flu season. As you visit your doctor in the upcoming winter months, you may be asked if you’ve received the flu vaccine. Before you tell them that you don’t like needles and don’t want the shot, you may want to reconsider.
Last year’s flu season was one of the deadliest in the past 40 years – 80,000 people died of the flu last winter in the United States. According to Dr. William Schaffner, a Vanderbilt University Vaccine expert, that number was nearly twice as much as what health officials previously considered a bad year.
Given the results of last year, it’s more important than ever to receive your flu shot as soon as possible. Even if you received a shot last year, it’s recommended that you receive a new one this season. Because there are many different strains of the influenza virus and all are prone to mutation, experts have to create new vaccines annually. The CDC recommends that everyone six months of age and older get a flu vaccine every season to protect against these mutations.
There are various benefits to receiving the vaccine, which include:
- The flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children and older adults.
- Vaccination is associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, as well as reduced hospitalization among people with diabetes and chronic lung disease.
- Vaccination helps protect pregnant women and their babies during and after pregnancy. Some studies have shown that the baby’s risk of contracting the flu was reduced by half for up to four months after birth.
- Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies that the severity of the illness is reduced, and the duration of illness is shortened in those who vaccinated, but still may have caught the flu.
Of course, getting vaccinated isn’t only about protecting yourself. It also protects people around you who might be more vulnerable to the flu. Receiving the vaccine could help to protect babies and young children, the elderly, and those with certain chronic medical conditions from the dangers of influenza.
If you’re ready to take action to protect yourself and your family, stop by Bartell Drugs to get your flu shot. Walk-ins are welcome, and you can also schedule your shot online to avoid the wait. Bartell Drugs’ pharmacists make it their priority to ensure flu shots are fast, easy and convenient. Learn more and schedule your flu shot at bartelldrugs.com/flu.