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Reason for you to get a flu shot

Flu season started in November and continues through March.

The CDC recommends everyone 6 months old and up get the flu shot, but this is no guarantee against the flu...

So why get the flu shot if I might get the flu anyway?

There are two primary reasons.

First Reason

If you do manage to catch the flu after being vaccinated, your illness will be much less severe than if you were not vaccinated.

Second Reason

Two, and for those with respiratory conditions such as asthma and COPD, the most important reason, is that if you get the flu, you are much less likely to get pneumonia.

In reviewing statistics on the numbers of people who died in a flu epidemic, many of these people died as a result of respiratory complications from the flu, most commonly pneumonia.

Even healthy people can develop pneumonia and die, making this the biggest reason healthcare providers recommend annual flu vaccination for everyone.

Remember that it take about 2 weeks from the time you get a flu shot until your body has produced the antibodies to protect you from the infection (and only 3 days from exposure to the virus to illness).

So don't wait until those around you start to get sick, but talk to your healthcare provider about getting your flu shot today. Even if you have egg allergies, the modern flu shot no longer excludes you from getting the vaccine.

Speaking from experience, I got the annual flu shot last year, and then one Saturday, woke up feeling a bit “off”. I knew I had been exposed multiple times that week at work, so I had a flu test which confirmed infection.

The sum total of my case of the flu when others were literally dying from the flu:

  • I was a little achy and sniffly for 2 days.

  • I didn’t have any fever or chills.

  • And, I was back to my usual self in 2 days.

Totally worth getting a shot.

Beverly J. Howard, PhD, RN, FNP-BC

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