Flu Vaccine: Your best shot at preventing the Flu

By Ashley A. Tallon, RN

Flu is a common, contagious lung and breathing sickness that comes around every year. It comes at the end of fall and lasts until early spring. Flu causes thousands of people to get sick, have to go to the doctor or hospital, and sometimes even die. Being sick with the flu costs a large amount of money. The health department said this past flu season, 90,324 people got sick from the flu and that 2,542 people had to go to the hospital. Out of the people who got sick with the flu, 1,697 were from Darlington County (South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, 2017).

A flu shot is the best way to keep from getting the flu and spreading it to others. Since 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has told all people age 6 months and older to get a flu shot. It is important to get your flu shot yearly because it protects against the kind of flu that is going around at that time.

For most people, the flu is a mild sickness. It will make them feel bad, but they will get over it in usually less than 2 weeks. On the other hand, there are some groups of people who are more likely to get very sick and have problems such as having to go to the hospital or even dying from the flu. These groups of people include: children younger than five, adults over 65, pregnant women, people who suffer from sicknesses like asthma or problems with your lungs, heart, blood, kidney, or liver, people who have problems with being overweight, or people younger than 19 who take aspirin every day.

It has been found that the most common reason people do not get a flu shot is that they do not think they will get the flu. They also think if they do get the flu, they will not get very sick. All people can catch the flu. All people have some danger of getting very sick to the point of having to go to the hospital or even dying from the flu. Flu shots can keep people over 50 from getting so sick they have to go to the hospital.

Another reason people say that they do not take a flu shot is because it will give them the flu or make them sick. The flu shot will not cause the flu. It is made with a type of virus that cannot give you the flu. Most people only have a small amount of redness and a sore arm where the shot was given (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017).

There are several different types of flu shots. Based on your age, health history, and previous allergies, your healthcare provider will decide which type you should get. You can get flu shots at your doctor’s office, local health department, and many local pharmacies. Now is the time for you to be thinking about getting your yearly flu shot. It really is your best shot at keeping you from getting sick with the flu.

Author: Duane Childers

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