Top Reasons to Get a Flu Shot
October 19, 2022
Do you need a flu shot? The answer is a resounding yes. And if you haven’t already gotten your annual flu vaccine, you may want to get it as soon as possible.
We’re already seeing high seasonal flu activity in the United States, with some of the highest levels of flu cases right here in Georgia, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But with so much misleading information about vaccinations and flu shots, you may be worried about getting one. Vaccination is the best way to stay protected, particularly for seniors, young children, and people who may be at high risk of serious complications from the flu. The CDC recommends that everyone six months and older get an annual flu shot – and we do too!
Here are five reasons you should get your flu shot today:
1. It can save your life.
The flu poses a serious threat to people. During the 2018-2019 flu season, the CDC estimates that 34,000 Americans died of the flu. Another 490,000 were hospitalized for flu complications like dehydration, bacterial pneumonia, ear and sinus infections, and other issues. Studies show that getting a flu vaccine can reduce your risk of contracting the flu by up to 60%. Plus, if you get sick, it will likely be a milder case, and you’ll recover quicker.
2. You cannot get the flu from a flu shot.
A common misconception is that you can contract the flu from a flu vaccine. You cannot because the shot uses a deadened form of the virus.
3. Last year’s shot may not protect you from this year’s flu.
Flu strains change from year to year. Before each flu season, the CDC determines which strains of influenza are most likely to occur that year, and the year’s flu vaccination is formulated to fight those specific strains. The vaccine will still reduce your chances of contracting other flu strains. If you do get sick, it can significantly reduce the severity of your symptoms.
4. The sooner you get the flu shot, the better.
Flu season typically begins in October and can last until May. Getting vaccinated as early as possible increases the likelihood you won’t get the flu. That’s important because it takes your body about two weeks following the flu shot to create the necessary antibodies to fight off the flu.
5. Flu shot side effects are usually mild.
Many people experience no side effects at all. Some people develop headaches, a stuffy nose, or a sore throat. Most side effects only last a day or so – a much better alternative to a severe case of the flu, which can last two weeks and result in severe complications.
Get the Care You Need
Grady makes getting your flu shot easy. The cost is based on your insurance plan or $20 if you don’t have insurance. Walk-ins are welcome Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the hospital or any of our neighborhood health centers. For more information, visit gradyhealth.org/flu.