The flu usually makes the average person pretty miserable with fever, aches, coughing, weakness, and other symptoms. But, in the elderly, the very young, and people with weakened immune systems, the flu can be serious. It can lead to pneumonia and even death.
A flu shot can protect you from the flu or lessen symptoms if you do get it. But, getting one flu shot at some point in your life isn’t enough. You need a flu shot every year because each year’s flu shot covers different strains that health experts think will be the major ones in any given year.
This year, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, getting your flu shot – and doing so early – is especially important. Flu vaccines are effective and can reduce the burden on our medical system, by reducing the number of people hospitalized with the flu, while hospitals deal with a potential increase in COVID infections.
Flu shots contain a few deactivated strains of the flu that researchers predict will be the most prevalent for the year. When you are given a flu shot, your body forms antibodies to fight the weakened stains in the shot. And when you come in contact with any of the strains at full strength, your body will have built up an immunity to them.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends anyone six months or older get the vaccine to protect themselves from the flu.
Getting the flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from getting the virus. The earlier you’re vaccinated, the longer you’re protected.
Even if you’re exposed to a strain of the flu not included in the vaccine, it’s likely that you’ll have a less severe case than you would have if you hadn’t been vaccinated. The vaccine can lower the chance of hospitalization and the rate of death from flu complications in children.
In any given year, the flu shot is about 60% effective in preventing recipients from contracting the flu. Even if the flu vaccine was a miss and didn’t include the most common strains, it will still keep you 20-30% protected.
Any protection is better than no protection, especially given that the flu can cause death. In 2017, 80,000 people lost their lives due to complications of the flu.
At Medinet Family Care Clinic we administer the flu shot in just one dose for most people. The elderly can benefit from a high-dose vaccine that offers additional protection. Nasal sprays that deliver the vaccine are also available if you have an issue with needles.
To get a flu shot or to learn more about it, book an appointment online or over the phone with Medinet Family Care Clinic today.