With summer coming to an end, flu season is upon us.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone six months of age and older (with rare exceptions) get a flu shot before flu season is in full swing. Don’t wait for winter weather — September and October are optimal times to be vaccinated against the flu.
Getting your annual influenza vaccination is even more important with COVID-19 spreading, too. Here’s why you should get your flu shot this year, and every year:
1. To keep yourself safe and healthy throughout fall and winter
Because we’re used to the flu, many of us don’t think of it as a threat — but it’s a potentially serious respiratory disease that affects everyone differently.
Getting the flu can mean feeling under the weather for a few days, or it can result in more serious illness, hospitalization, or even death. People with chronic medical conditions are especially at risk.
An annual flu vaccine is the best way to help protect yourself. Vaccination has many benefits, including a reduced risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and flu-related death. And, while some people who get a flu vaccine may still get sick, flu vaccination has also been shown to reduce the severity of illness.
2. To protect your loved ones
Getting your annual flu shot means you’re less likely to transmit the flu to those around you who might need hospital treatment. While you might experience a mild case of the flu, your friends or family may not all be as lucky.
3. Protection from the flu declines over time
Your body’s immune response to the flu vaccine gradually weakens over time, so an annual vaccine is needed to provide continuous protection.
Additionally, flu viruses are constantly changing. Each year, flu vaccines are updated based on which flu virus is going around.
4. To help boost your community’s herd immunity
Getting the flu shot is not only important for yourself, but also for those who can’t get the vaccine, such as infants or those with suppressed immune systems. When a high enough percentage of a population gets vaccinated, that creates herd immunity, which helps protect those who can’t be vaccinated by lowering the risk of spreading disease throughout a community.
That helps you, your loved ones, and everyone else!
Remember: it’s best to get your flu vaccine by the end of October, before the onset of flu activity. We’re now offering flu vaccines by appointment at the health department. Click the button below to schedule an appointment.
Interested in getting your COVID-19 vaccine or booster as well? Just book one appointment slot and indicate on your patient form that you’d like to receive both the flu shot and COVID-19 vaccine.
Still have questions? Check out our Seasonal Flu Shot FAQ.
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