Let’s get right to the point: the flu is terrible. It is a viral infection that will have you experiencing fever, chills, muscle aches, headaches and extreme fatigue. The flu can even be deadly.
The most common way to prevent the flu is by getting the flu vaccine. This flu vaccine information sheet breaks down how the flu vaccine is administered and what it does, why it is so important, who should get it, and more.
What are you waiting for? Take action before you start to experience flu-like symptoms so that you can protect yourself and your loved ones.
What is the Flu Vaccine?
The Influenza (Flu) Vaccine, also known as the flu shot, protects our bodies against infection from the influenza virus. The vaccine is most commonly administered intramuscularly, or into the upper arm. However, there is an alternative form of the vaccine called FluMist, which is given nasally. Ask your doctor to find out which method of the flu vaccine is best for you.
Why is the Flu Vaccine So Important?
Not only does the flu vaccine prevent you from getting the flu, but it works even further to eliminate hospitalization and long-term health problems caused by the flu.
According to the CDC, the flu vaccination prevented an estimated 85,000 flu-related hospitalizations in 2016-2017. It also reduced the risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit visits among children by 74%.
Many people do not know this, but the flu vaccine can also help prevent serious medical events caused by chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiac disease and lung disease.
Flu vaccination is also critical to women during and after pregnancy. The CDC shares a study that shows getting a flu shot reduced a pregnant woman’s risk of being hospitalized with the flu by an average of 40%.
As you can see, getting the flu vaccination takes away the risk of flu-like symptoms turning into something more serious for your health and the health of those around you.
Who Should Get the Flu Vaccine?
Adults and children 6 months and older are eligible to get the flu vaccination. If you are thinking of getting the nasal form of the vaccine, FluMist, be aware that this is only available to those ages 2-49, who are in good health and not pregnant.
While it is rare, make note that the flu vaccine may not be beneficial for people with certain health conditions. Ask your doctor if getting the flu vaccine is right for you, depending on your medical history.
National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW) is December 1-7. The CDC created this national awareness week to focus on highlighting the importance of influenza vaccination. If you find yourself skeptical of getting the flu shot, our experts bust the biggest myths associated with the procedure, so you can have peace of mind.
There are other ways you can prevent getting the flu. We share easy tips so that you and your loved ones can stay healthy this flu (and holiday) season! If you’d like to learn more information outside of this flu vaccine information sheet, download our “How to Get Rid of the Flu Guide.” We share the most effective ways to avoid the flu, what you can do every day to decrease your risk of getting the flu, and how you can tell if you’re getting sick.
If you have questions or concerns about the flu vaccine or if you are starting to experience flu-like symptoms, please visit your doctor as soon as possible.