7 Reasons to Get Your Annual Flu Shot ASAP
Fall is a season of “getting ready”: getting ready to go back to school, getting ready for the holidays, getting ready for cold weather — and of course, getting ready for flu season. Fortunately, just as you can plan for school, holidays, and cool temperatures, you can “plan” for flu season, too — by getting your flu shot.
As leaders in family care for patients of all ages in Germantown, Maryland, and Alexandria and Woodbridge, Virginia, the team at Medical Access recommends annual flu shots as an important part of preventive and proactive care. Here are seven reasons why our team says you should schedule your flu shot as soon as possible.
1. It helps prevent you from getting sick.
This is probably the most obvious reason to get a flu shot, but it bears mentioning. Every year in the United States, as many as 40 million people “catch” the flu, resulting in lots of missed days from work and school, not to mention days of feeling pretty awful.
The flu vaccine helps your body produce antibodies to fight off this year’s most predominant strains, so you can drastically reduce your risk of getting sick.
2. It’s already flu season.
The influenza virus is always around, but infections increase dramatically in the fall and winter. Every day you delay getting your flu vaccine is a day when you could be exposed to the virus. In fact, the CDC says this year’s flu season is already well under way.
3. It’s quick.
It takes just a few moments of your day — literally — to get your flu shot. Our office offers flu shots, and so do pharmacies and even some grocery stores, making it really convenient to get vaccinated.
You can pop in on your lunch break, on your way to or from work, or when you drop off or pick up the kids from school. (In fact, that’s a perfect opportunity to have your kids vaccinated against the flu, too!)
4. It helps prevent others from getting sick.
OK, so maybe you really don’t care whether or not you get the flu. But your shot protects other people, too — and that’s also a really good reason to have your flu vaccine. You can pass along the flu even if you don’t have symptoms.
That means you could be putting a lot of other people at risk, including elderly people, pregnant women, kids — and, of course, your own family members. Getting vaccinated is a kind thing to do for others. Plus, it helps contribute to “herd immunity,” which means the flu virus can be kept in check more easily.
5. Flu can be deadly.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized with the flu, and as many as 50,000 or more die as a result of their illness. Even young, healthy people can develop serious and even deadly complications from a flu infection. Plus, getting vaccinated reduces your risk of hospitalization, which helps out healthcare workers and makes resources available to others who need them.
6. The flu virus changes every year.
You’ve probably heard news stories about how the COVID-19 virus has been changing and producing different variants. The flu virus does the same thing.
Every year, new flu variants emerge, and researchers spend months determining which strains are likely to be the most common agents during the upcoming flu season. Each year’s vaccine is based on the variants that are going to be most common and most active that year. And that is why you need a new vaccine every year to help you stay healthy.
7. The flu shot will not make you sick.
The flu vaccine doesn’t cause illness — it helps prevent illness by helping your body create antibodies to fight flu infection. It also does not cause autism.
After your vaccine, it’s normal to feel some soreness in your arm, and you may also develop a mild fever, a little fatigue, or slight body aches. These are not signs of illness. These are signs that your body is building up an immunity to the flu virus, drastically reducing your risk of getting sick and developing life-threatening complications.
To schedule your flu shot, book an appointment online or over the phone with the team at Medical Access today.