Flu season is in full swing, and the best way to protect yourself (and others) from getting sick is by getting a flu vaccination. Wondering if you and your family members should get a flu vaccine this year? Here are eight good reasons:
1. The flu vaccine is the best way to avoid the flu.
The flu is very contagious. It can easily spread for one person to another.
2. Health officials recommend it.
Flu vaccines are recommended for everyone over 6 months of age. It comes as a shot or as a nasal spray. The nasal spray vaccine is an option for healthy people ages 2 to 49.
3. The flu can be serious.
The flu comes on suddenly. It can cause a high fever, headache, and extreme tiredness. It can be especially dangerous for pregnant women, children and teens, older adults, and people with certain medical conditions.
4. You’ll protect yourself and others too.
Complications from the flu can lead to hospitalization. In the United States, about 36,000 people die from the flu every year.
5. Getting the flu can disrupt your life.
A flu vaccine may help you avoid missing work or school. You won’t have to miss any fun social events either!
6. The flu vaccine is low cost and easy to get.
You can get vaccinated through any Shawnee Health Care health center.
7. You only need it once a year.
October or November is the best time to get a flu vaccine, but you can get it later than the year as well. You should get a new seasonal flu vaccine every year.
8. It is safe for most people.
You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. Most people have no side effects or only have very mild body aches. (However, you should not get a flu vaccine if you currently have a fever. Wait until you are well. Also, do not get a flu vaccine if you have had a reaction to a previous flu vaccine or to eggs, or if you have Guillain-Barré syndrome).
What else can you do to avoid the flu?
1. Wash your hands often. Use plenty of soap and water and wash for 20 seconds.
2. When coughing or sneezing, use a tissue and throw it away, then wash your hands.
3. Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, and mouth.
4. Teach children when and how to wash their hands, as well.
5. If possible, avoid being around people who are sick.
6. Exercise, eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, and reducing stress may also lower your chance of getting the flu.
To schedule an appointment for you or your child to receive the flu vaccine, call (618) 519-9200.