Vaccines have been a hot topic of conversation lately—and one that’s provoked some strong reactions. But they ultimately benefit the population by keeping some life-threatening illnesses, like smallpox and measles, out of circulation. The flu shot is an annual must on your to-do list, and it’s crucial, now more than ever, that you don’t skip it. Remember the importance of getting your influenza vaccine, even if needles make you nervous.
It Changes Every Year
Flu vaccines come out every year because the virus mutates and creates new variants. (Sound familiar?) Last year’s jab won’t do much for this year’s strain, and getting vaccinated is an easy way to slow the spread of the seasonal flu. You don’t know who you could carry the virus to, and not all immune systems are alike.
It Eases Symptoms
The influenza vaccine takes about two weeks to reach peak effectiveness, and it is still possible for a vaccinated person to contract the flu. But if you’ve been vaccinated and still get the flu, your symptoms won’t be nearly as nasty. Hospitalization rates for vaccinated flu patients are extremely low. If you feel flu-like symptoms coming on, a rapid test will give you a quick yes-or-no answer, and you and your doctor can proceed with treatment.
It’s a Literal Lifesaver
Sure, you’ve probably beaten the flu every year so far, and you may not see it as a threat anymore. But it’s always better to be safe than sorry because influenza can cause a host of complications that may land you in the hospital. Folks with chronic illnesses should be especially careful, as a bad case of the flu can worsen those symptoms. And as we discussed before, you don’t know if other people at work or the grocery store are immunocompromised. Avoid spreading flu germs to vulnerable populations by getting that shot.
It Decreases Hospital Stress
Over the past year and a half, the US health care system has been in constant crisis. Medical professionals are all stretched extremely thin, and fighting COVID-19 has been a widespread priority. If you get your flu shot and stay out of the hospital, doctors and nurses can focus on treating their sickest patients. Plus, you’ll avoid the risk of interacting with people exposed to COVID-19 at the hospital.
Now more than ever, staying up to date on your shots is not optional. Calm your needle anxiety by thinking about all the people you’re helping by getting the flu shot every year! Do your part. Learn the importance of getting your influenza vaccine, and think of these points when you get your annual jab.