You can recognize the symptoms the moment you feel them coming on. Flushed skin, accompanied by unexplainable chills. Muscle aches that seem to seep into your bones. Exhaustion that you’d think could only be precipitated by the completion of an ultra-marathon. It’s the flu, and this Fall and Winter, if you don’t want to be among the millions of people diagnosed with influenza, talk to your doctor about getting the flu vaccine. If avoiding these uncomfortable symptoms isn’t enough of a reason to get vaccinated, here are six more reasons to get the flu shot.
- The Flu Shot can Help You Save Your PTO for Vacation Time. Your human resources office wants you to keep your germs at home as long as you are experiencing symptoms such as a cough with mucus, fever, exhaustion, vomiting, or diarrhea. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recommend you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks. That means you could end up using five to seven of your annual paid time off (PTO) days to recoup from the flu. Wouldn’t you prefer to use those days for a family trip to Gold Beach?
- The Flu Shot Will Keep Your Friends and Family from Blaming You for Getting Sick. The flu is highly contagious, and like most illnesses, you may be contagious before you even realize you’re sick. Once someone in a family or social circle gets the flu, they earn a reputation as patient zero, which means everyone else around you (who failed to get vaccinated) and gets sick will blame you for spreading the bug. And who needs that kind of negativity in their life?
- You May be Eligible for an Age-Appropriate Flu Shot. Medical experts recommend that everyone over the age of six months obtain an annual flu vaccine. For those over age 65 who may be most susceptible to the flu and its symptoms, an alternative flu vaccine is available that offers even greater protection.
- The Flu Shot in Optimized Annually. Every year, the CDC assesses the risk associated with the wide variety of flu strains that scientists have identified and creates an annual vaccine designed to offer the best protection against the most strains believed to be prevalent in the coming year. That means if you received the flu vaccine in a previous year, but still got sick, you may have contracted a strain that wasn’t accounted for in your vaccine. It can happen, but it doesn’t mean flu vaccines aren’t effective. The CDC reports that flu vaccination reduces the risk of flu illness by between 40 to 60 percent among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are well-matched to the flu vaccine. That means the odds are in your favor that this year’s flu vaccine will keep you safe.
- The Flu Shot Can Save Your Life. In the U.S. alone, over 200,000 people are hospitalized due to the flu every year, and 36,000 people While the most susceptible populations include seniors, children, and those with other health complications and chronic illnesses, everyone should be aware of the risks of flu contagion.
When to Obtain the Flu Vaccine
Flu season officially occurs from October to May. Since it takes two weeks for the flu vaccine to protect you from contagion fully, doctors recommend that patients obtain the flu vaccine by the end of October. To help protect our community, Nova Health is offering flu vaccines at all of our 14 clinics throughout Lane and Douglas counties. Make an appointment or walk into any of our urgent care centers to take advantage of all the health benefits of the flu vaccine this year (and every year).