HealthStat: Flu Vaccines

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Just about 4 in 10 Americans get a flu shot.

Do you hear that? It’s the collective scream of every doctor in the United States.

The flu shot is an easy way to prevent flu. Preventing flu means preventing unnecessary misery, missed work and family events, hospitalizations and in some cases even death. But for the 2015-2016 flu season (the most recent numbers available), just 41.7 percent of adults got the vaccine.

Too many kids are also missing out on flu protection; just 59.3 percent of children ages 6 months to 17 years got the vaccine.

Flu shots are effective against several (though not all) flu viruses and are easy to get; they’re free with many types of insurance and inexpensive at Baptist Health Express Care and Urgent Care offices.

If you’ve heard someone say the flu shot can make you sick with flu, this is false. Some flu vaccines carry inactivated virus, which means it’s not infectious. Other vaccines have no virus at all. Some people experience slight muscle soreness and achiness after the flu shot, but it’s way less painful than the flu.

Are you one of the 6 in 10 holding out on a flu shot? It’s not too late. Get one and save yourself the headache (and body aches and sneezing and sore throat). You’ll also be helping to keep the people around you healthy, because the more people who are vaccinated, the less flu will spread.

Flu shots are available for $25 (regular dose) and $40 (high-dose version) at all Baptist Health Urgent Care locations and Baptist Health Express Care clinics. Find the location nearest you.

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