My desire for this column is to provide you with tips and tools to improve your health. Getting your flu vaccine, I believe, is a way to improve your health.
While I’m not a doctor, my day job (what pays my bills) is corporate wellness — this includes on-site health clinics. A large part of my role is to provide education on topics like this. While I can provide you with the why and where, the choice is still yours. My hope for you is that after reading this, you decide this important vaccine is a “yes” for you and your family.
The information I’m about to share with you largely comes from the Center for Disease Control, so while my desire is for you to get a flu shot, the stats I’m sharing are real and from a reliable and credentialed source.
WHY GET A FLU SHOT?
The flu is a contagious respiratory disease that can lead to serious complications, hospitalization or even death. Anyone can get the flu, and getting vaccinated is the single best way to protect against influenza. Yes, you heard that right: the single best way.
Millions of people get the flu each year. Hundreds of thousands end up in the hospital, and, sadly, thousands even die each year from the flu. Many of my family members will tell you that, when I was pregnant a couple of years ago with my little girl, I was adamant that anyone — and I mean anyone — who planned on coming to my house or being around my daughter had to get their flu shot/pertussis (whopping cough) vaccination. Overprotective and a touch of hypochondria yes, but I still feel passionately about this cause.
DO I HAVE TO GET IT EVERY YEAR? WHEN?
Yes, you do. The flu virus constantly changes, and vaccines are updated from one season to the next to protect against the most recent circulating strain.
When do you get a flu shot?
It seems like, with each passing year, I see advertisements for the flu shot being offered earlier and earlier. If you feel like you’re getting mixed messages as well, no need to panic. The CDC recommends that you get your flu shot by the end of October. If you miss this window, please don’t use this as an excuse to skip it all together.
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