We get it. Getting poked by needles is not your ideal scenario. However, no matter how healthy your lifestyle is, visiting your medical doctor once a year to get that flu shot vaccine is the best decision to make if you want to protect yourself and the people around you. Want to know the reasons why you should take one and when can you do it? Scroll down below.
- It’s a Lifesaver
Let’s start with the most obvious reason. It’s a no brainer that getting your flu shot vaccine yearly is a lifesaver! Did you know that during the year 2017-2018, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US estimated that there are about 80,000 people that died due to influenza virus alone? It is also stated that 200,000 people are confined in hospitals yearly because of the same reason, and the people that are the most at risk to this kind of situation are those aged 65 years old and above and children below 2 years old.
People who have chronic illnesses and serious health problems, especially if these are heart diseases, HIV, AIDs, cancer, asthma or diabetes, are unfortunately more prone to acquiring the flu as well and might possibly have more trouble fighting against it because of a weakened immune system. They say prevention is better than cure and this can be obviously applied in this instance. Getting the flu shots should be taken seriously, and should be considered as a lifesaver, as it obviously decreases the chances of grave health consequences and mortality. This is not only for individual protection, but also to protect the people around us.
- There is a Variety of Flu Vaccines
When you think about vaccines, the image that typically goes to your head is a syringe with a long, sharp needle pointing at you. If you’re the type of person that is scared of needles and has to be dragged and carried first before you get to the hospital, you can now set aside your worries since there are now various types of flu shots. An example of this is a needleless vaccine, otherwise known as jet injectors, that uses a high pressure skin penetration process in order to place the immunization to your body. This is a painless alternative with the same level of immunity protection effectiveness as your regular needle flu vaccines, and without any side effects as well. If getting pricked is something that’s keeping you from securing yourself, then this is the best option for you!
Another variety of flu shot vaccines is aimed towards the immunization of the older generation, specifically people that are 65 years old and above. Our elders typically have a more weakened immune system. They can be protected with these types of new vaccines. There are vaccines with adjuvants, an additive that promotes stronger response against influenza. There’s also high-dose vaccines that contain antigens in four times the amount. You can consult your medical doctor as to which of these vaccines are recommendable for you or your loved ones.
Lastly, it should also be noted that flu vaccines are constantly upgrading and updating yearly. Changes are also made depending on which strain is predicted to appear for the year’s particular influenza virus season. With this in mind, this presents a more solid reason for you to take your yearly shots.
- Protect Pregnant Women and Children
Pregnancy is a very delicate time for mothers because they are usually compromised in terms of immunity and there are lots of changes occurring in their bodies. According to studies, pregnant women are more at risk when it comes to acquiring the flu. If they do get infected, this can possibly present a series of health complications for both the mother and the baby. Aside from the fact that they should be having the best nutrition, they must also be protected from illnesses and diseases. One of the ways this can be done is by having the flu vaccine shot, during and even after the pregnancy.
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US, pregnant women who are vaccinated are 40 percent less likely to be hospitalized due to the flu compared to pregnant women who didn’t get the proper vaccines. Getting the shot while pregnant is also beneficial to the babies themselves who are still in their mothers’ wombs. As stated before, children above 2 years old are the only ones who can receive the flu vaccine. Babies below 2 years who are too young to get vaccinated are still in danger when it comes to contracting the influenza. However, if their mothers are vaccinated while pregnant, the babies are protected for several months even after birth. If the worry is more about the side effects that come with vaccination during maternity, mothers need not to be concerned since it doesn’t have any ill effects on breastfeeding and it’s completely safe as long as moms get the shots and not the nasal spray type of vaccine. If you’re a future mommy, and quite excited about it, your best bet in protecting yourself and your kid is to get your flu shot vaccines now!
- Enforces Herd Immunity
Viruses are easily spread and contracted. That is a sad fact we cannot deny. A person might not be sick, but a sneeze, cough, or saliva droplets coming from them might get other people down with the flu. This is more evident if you live in crowded areas and cities with a dense population. The risks are virtually endless. Through vaccination of the whole community, a concept called herd immunity can be enforced. To further understand the idea, think of it as ten people being in the community and nine of them are vaccinated with the flu shots. One got sick with the flu, but it won’t affect the others since their immune systems are equipped to fight against influenza. The infection will be contained and will eventually disappear, thus making the whole community safe against the flu.
This suggests that not only should you get the flu shot vaccine to protect yourself, but also to proactively decrease dangers to the people around you. Flu shot vaccines for everyone are encouraged yearly and as long as they are in the right age. If everyone is immune, there will be no place for influenza and there is hope for a healthier and stronger community.
Having a flu shot vaccine should be taken seriously, as it not only has effects on you but also the people that surround you and the entire community. Different options are available whether you’re afraid of needles, you’re in need more immunization, or you’re currently pregnant. In order to stay healthy amidst influenza seasons, the best step to take is to consult your medical doctor now.