The last big flu epidemic killed 50 million people globally in 1 year, between 1918-1919. Experts believe we are way overdue. The flu vaccine has prevented millions of flu cases and tens of thousands of hospitalizations.
If that isn’t enough to convince you to be protected, here are 10 more reasons why you should get vaccinated.
- You Can Spread The Flu Even If You Don’t Get Sick
As many as 20-30% of people who get the flu virus never get symptoms. Yet they are still contagious. They end up inadvertently spreading the virus to others–particularly babies, kids and seniors.
2. Smartphone’s Love Virus — And Your Face
We use our smartphones constantly: touching it, holding it up to our face and setting it down everywhere. In addition, viruses easily cling to the hard, plastic surfaces. And when’s the last time you cleaned your phone? Probably not recently enough.
3. It’s Available Everywhere
It’s easier than ever to find a flu vaccine. You don’t have to see your doctor–just stop in anywhere and they offer flu shots. However, if you have a serious medical condition or a severe egg allergy, you should talk to your doctor– most vaccines contain a scant amount of egg protein.
4. It’s Usually Painless
No one likes to get jabbed with a needle. But in expert hands, it really is (almost) painless. “We use the smallest needle possible and almost always people say it was painless,” says Denise Darrah, MA of Evolve Medical.
5. It Can’t Give You The Flu
The most common myth is that you can get influenza from the flu vaccine–but it is scientifically impossible! The vaccine is made up of inactivated (killed) or weakened viruses that have no ability to infect the lungs.
So why did you get sick right after your shot that one time? Even though it felt like mild flu, a different virus may have caused your infection. Dr. Michael Freedman, of Evolve Medical, believes that crowded germ-infested waiting areas harbor all sorts of viruses. “So when a healthy person stops in for a flu shot, they end up getting sick just from being around sick people.”
“The moral of the story: When it’s flu shot time, avoid the crowded places packed with sick people.” –Dr. Michael Freedman of Evolve Medical Clinics.
6. It Might Spare You A Heart Attack
It’s true. A study published in JAMA in 2014 found that adults who’d gotten a flu shot were 36 percent less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke within the next year than those who weren’t vaccinated.
7. You’ll Save Your PTO Days
An estimated 111 million workdays are lost to the flu each year, sending $7 billion worth of productivity down the drain. Your coworkers certainly won’t want you around if you’re hacking, coughing and sneezing. While the worst of the flu might last only a few days — if you’re lucky — you probably won’t be back at full speed for a week or more. Save your PTO days for fun–not Flu.
8. ‘I don’t need the flu vaccine because I never get sick’
Even if you don’t get sick — or only experience mild illness when you are sick — remember that others might not be as lucky. Getting vaccinated not only protects you, but also helps protect others who may not be able to fight off illness as well as you. Babies under 6 months can’t even get the flu shot. Help protect our little ones — get vaccinated!
9. October Is The Perfect Time
It takes about 2 weeks after your vaccination to provide full flu protection. That’s why it’s better to get vaccinated in October, before the flu season really kicks in. But it’s never too late to get the flu vaccine if you miss out. Seasonal influenza disease usually peaks in January and February most years, but can occur as late as May or as early as December. And be sure to get re-vaccinated each fall!
10. ‘It doesn’t really make a difference if I get the flu shot or not’
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that vaccinations prevented 79,000 flu hospitalizations and 6.6 million flu-associated illnesses during the 2012-13 influenza season. Complications from the flu can be serious and result in hospitalization, and even death. The best way to prevent the flu is to get vaccinated. Although the flu vaccine is not 100% effective, it is your best chance avoiding getting sick, avoiding hospitalization or even death from the flu.
If all this hasn’t convinced you to get a flu shot for yourself, at least consider doing it to help the babies, kids and seniors. Keep Annapolis healthy!