The flu shot is your best protection from getting the flu. Yet, fewer than half of all Americans get a flu shot. So we’re rolling up our sleeves and providing you with four good reasons to get a flu shot:
- The flu can be deadly. The number of people who die each year from flu-related causes in the U.S. ranges from 3,000 to 49,000 (about 200,000 are hospitalized). Those at high risk for flu complications include young children, pregnant women, people with chronic health conditions and people 65 years and older.
- The flu shot is safe and effective. The flu shot is safe and has been in use for more than 50 years. It can reduce your chances of getting the flu by 70 to 90 percent. Think the flu shot can give you the flu? It cannot. The most common side effects are a sore arm and maybe a low fever or achiness (nothing compared to the suffering that can be caused by the flu). Hate needles? Ask for a nasal spray flu vaccine instead. Discuss any vaccine concerns you have with your doctor.
- You’ll protect those around you. The flu is a highly contagious illness and can easily be passed from person to person. Getting a flu shot will not only protect you from the flu but can keep you from passing it along to your family, friends and coworkers. For added protection, wash your hands often and cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- The ideal time is now. Flu season usually starts sometime in October and can last until May, so it is important to get your shot early. It takes about two weeks for your body’s immune system to create the necessary antibodies to fight off the flu. Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot each year. To find a flu shot near you, go to gov and type in your zip code.