Have you gotten your flu shot yet? Now’s the perfect time! There’s a lot of attention on Ebola right now, and that’s certainly a serious concern, but the flu is a big deal too. The virus can kill between 3,000 and 50,000 per year in the United States alone. It is a serious threat to the community, and for vulnerable populations, including those with with Cystic Fibrosis (CF), it’s especially dangerous.
So if you need a little reminder why getting your flu shot is so important, here are four reasons to go get it done today!
1. No one is invincible.
If you’ve never had the flu before, consider yourself lucky! Your track record doesn’t protect you against getting the flu in the future, so why test your luck? Beyond fevers and body aches, the flu can actually cause serious medical complications, including death—even for otherwise healthy people. If you’re one of the fortunate people who has never had the flu before, count your lucky stars and then promptly quit while you’re on top by getting your flu shot today!
2. Herd immunity is an important thing.
Did you know that when you get your flu shot, you’re not only protecting yourself, you’re also protecting others too? The more people that get vaccinated, the less chance influenza has of spreading through the community and affecting high risk populations like babies, the elderly, and those with medical conditions and weakened immune systems.
For these high-risk populations, the flu poses a very real and dangerous threat. As a respiratory virus, the flu can worsen symptoms in people with CF, triggering full-blown lung infections that require hospitalization and can cause irreparable decline in lung function. For those who have had lung transplants, the immunosuppressant drugs that keep the body from rejecting the transplanted organs also increase susceptibility to illness. Their immune systems may simply be too weak to fight off the flu.
If not for yourself, do it for thy neighbor!
3. The flu vaccine is effective.
You may have heard that the flu shot doesn’t really work, or that it can cause illness, but these are urban myths. Contrary to popular belief, the flu shot is a dead vaccine that simply cannot give you the flu. With an effectiveness rate that is generally between 60 and 65 percent, the flu shot is by no means a complete guarantee against the flu, but it certainly provides far more protection than not getting flu shot at all.
In fact, in a large-scale analysis of the past six seasons, the CDC found that the flu shot prevented about 13.6 million illnesses, 5.8 million medical visits and 112,900 flu-related hospitalizations.
4. Getting a flu shot is easy.
Over the past few years, getting your flu shot has become significantly easier. Pharmacies, grocery stores, even Target provide vaccinations, and you may even be able to get one at your workplace. Doesn’t get much more convenient than that!
Find the closest location to get a flu shot today:
All that for a little prick? Sounds like a no-brainer to us!