Here we are again, on the cusp of a new flu season. Flu vaccinations are widely available and the diagnoses are already starting to roll in. Still, many people will disregard their potential flu risk and choose to forego vaccination. Perhaps they have gone years without getting the flu, just got the shot last year, or simply believe that flu shots don't really work. There are a host of potential excuses to choose from, but the bottom line is that protection against the flu is important for both individuals and the community as a whole and that getting the shot offers several benefits that are often overlooked.
The Flu Shot can Reduce Flu Risk by More than Half
The flu vaccine changes every year and is based on predictions of which strains of the virus may occur that season. While it isn't foolproof, it does have a pretty impressive historical record of protecting against the flu. In fact, the CDC reports that receiving the flu shot can reduce your risk of contracting the virus by up to 60 percent.
The Flu is a Serious Illness
For anyone who is young and in good health, it can be easy to forget just how serious the flu can really be. While most patients will fully recover, there are some serious complications that can befall others. Each year, over 200,000 people are hospitalized due to the flu and related illnesses, and thousands die from flu-related complications.
Getting a Flu Shot Protects Others
Those who are most susceptible to serious flu complications are infants too young to receive the vaccine, the elderly, and the immune compromised. Individuals who elect to have the flu shot are protecting not only themselves from the virus, but they are also offering an added layer of protection for those most at risk.
The Flu Shot can Save You Money
For most, the flu shot is free with insurance, and even when a cost is associated, it is relatively low. By comparison, having the flu is far more expensive. Having the virus can mean doctor appointments, co-pays, and the cost of medication, whether prescription or over-the-counter. Additionally, an average bout with the flu can last one to two weeks, meaning a significant number of missed work days that many cannot afford.
Last Year's Flu Shot Won't Protect You this Year
While the flu shot can help protect you for the entirety of the current flu season, its effectiveness does not extend into the following year. A new vaccination is needed annually to keep the body's immune response elevated. Additionally, active strains of the virus change from year-to-year, and the vaccine received last year may not be the same as the one needed this year.
Flu Shots In Zachary
In Zachary, the flu shot is readily available by appointment at Lane Pediatrics and Lane Family Practice. It is also available at FASTLane After Hours Urgent Care on a walk-in basis, Monday – Friday from 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. Simply stop by our facility when you are ready to receive the vaccine. To learn more about FASTLane and our services, click the button below.