The flu season is here, and if you’re on the fence about getting a flu shot, this post is for you. There are several valid reasons why you should get the flu shot, and I’m sharing them below. This post is sponsored by The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Why You Should Get This Flu Shot This Year
This year, it’s even more critical to get the flu shot. With the pandemic still here, wondering whether you have flu or COVID-19 symptoms is not something you don’t want to stress over. “Getting a flu shot this year is especially important to help prevent what experts call a “*twindemic” with COVID-19, says a Beaumont Health doctor.” (source)
Who should get the flu shot
For me, I am taking zero chances and getting the flu shot. While it is not mandatory, the flu shot can protect my family and me from getting sick. It is recommended everyone six months and older get a flu vaccine every flu season. Getting the vaccine is a safe and effective way to protect everyone, from parents to children, as well as the folks we come into contact with in our communities.
As a parent, you may have questions on whether or not your child should be vaccinated. There is a lot of misinformation circulating on social media, and non-medical opinions about what’s best for your child’s care are harmful and baseless. Talk to your child’s doctor about your concerns with the flu vaccine. You can also use credible resources such as IVaccinate.org to get information to help you make an informed decision.
Reasons Why You Should Get the Flu Shot
There are many important reasons why you should get your flu shot this year. I’m sharing a few of those reasons down below to help you decide why getting this vaccine is essential.
A Flu Shot Can Prevent You From Having Severe Flu Symptoms.
While you may still get the flu at some point during the year, your symptoms may not be as bad as they would have been if you did not get the vaccine. Some people who get the flu have difficulty breathing, a sore throat, aches throughout the body, and severe dehydration. These symptoms can last quite a few days. If you would prefer to avoid these potential side effects of the flu, get your flu shot!
It Keeps You From Easily Catching and Spreading the Flu to Others.
People who receive the flu shot are less likely to end up catching it from someone else. If you do not catch it, you will not spread it, which is a good thing. Since we’re in a pandemic, it’s still important to wear a mask, practice social distancing and good hygiene. When you encounter people, the last thing you want to do is put anyone at risk because you have caught the flu. It is also essential to protect yourself from the virus when you know that you are around other people each day.
Protect Yourself When You Have a Poor Immune System.
If your immune system is naturally weak, you are 65 or older, or have underlying chronic health conditions; it may take you a while to recover from an array of illnesses, including the flu (Source). I have underlying health conditions, and with the pandemic we’re in right now, getting my flu shot is even more important to me. Get additional protection in the fight against the flu by getting a flu shot that can potentially strengthen your immune system and give it the tools to fight the virus. It’s also equally important to practice good hygiene, such as washing your hands, eating healthy food, exercise, and staying hydrated.
The Flu Shot Lowers Your Risk of Needing Hospitalization Because of the Flu.
Some people end up in the hospital because of the flu. The symptoms associated with the virus can become so severe that people need around-the-clock care in a hospital environment. A respected 2017 study revealed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, ICU admissions, and the overall time spent in the ICU among hospitalized flu patients. (Source)
Did you know the flu shot helps protect pregnant women? Getting the flu shot significantly reduces flu-associated acute respiratory infections in expecting mothers by up to one-half. (Source) That’s a big deal! Plus, a 2018 study revealed that receiving the flu shot reduced a pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalized with the flu and flu-related complications by 40%. (Source).
You Can Use Fewer Sick Days.
If you get the flu, you will probably need to spend several days at home trying to recuperate and get better. Even though you may be working from home right now, being sick and trying to work is no fun. By getting your flu shot, you may avoid having to use sick days due to the flu. Or, by some chance, you still get the flu, your recovery time may be quick because of the vaccine.
“I got the flu shot, but still got the flu.”
There’s a misconception going around regarding the flu shot causing you to get the flu. The flu vaccine does not have a live virus, so that that myth can be debunked. You may experience some of the common side effects, such as soreness, redness, tenderness, or swelling where the shot was given. Some people may also develop a headache, muscle aches, or a low-grade fever. These are minor side effects, but this is not the flu. These symptoms are signs that your body is developing the immunity needed to fight off the flu, which is a good thing. If you do happen to experience some of the flu vaccine’s side effects, they are shorter-lasting than the flu.
Although it is not a guarantee, the odds are in your favor when you decide to get a flu shot. Protect yourself and the people around you by getting your flu shot this year. Doing something as easy as getting this vaccine may even keep you from suffering the most severe symptoms associated with contracting the influenza virus. It is ideal for people of all ages, including babies (six months and older) and young children, to get the flu shot vaccination for their safety and others’ safety. Head over to Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services website to get more information about the flu vaccine.
Okay, you have all the information, and because this year is different, it’s a good idea to plan to get the flu shot. As always, if you have any questions, contact your doctor to get all the facts. During this season, be sure to stay hydrated, exercise, and take your vitamins. Stay healthy!