Why Your Family Needs Flu Shots
Here at Angels Medical you better believe we’ve heard every excuse in the book from our Houston friends trying to get out of having a yearly flu shot.
- “I’m healthy as a horse!”
- “Flu shots don’t really do anything.”
- “Getting a flu shot will just give me the flu.”
And you know what, we understand.
These days the flu is considered mostly just an inconvenience that won’t affect your life for more than a week. But the truth is, the Influenza A and Influenza B Viruses are responsible for the hospitalization of hundreds of thousands of people every year and even cause the death of many thousands.
However, because of the influenza flu vaccine, millions of people in the US have been protected from contracting flu viruses and tens of thousands of flu-related hospitalizations.
The reality is, there aren’t any excuses that can change the facts, when influenza season rolls around, getting a flu vaccine will greatly benefit your health and the health of those in your life.
Here are 5 powerful benefits of getting a flu shot every year before flu season:
- The flu vaccine can prevent you from getting sick as it does for millions of people every year. As a matter of fact, it reduces flu-related doctor’s visits by 40 to 60 percent.
- The flu vaccine can reduce the risk of flu-related hospitalizations by about 40 percent for adults and it decreases the risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit admissions by 74 percent!
- If you get the flu after having a flu shot your symptoms can be drastically reduced.
- Pregnant women are protected during and after pregnancy, even more significantly, their babies are protected by the antibodies up to six months after birth.
- Getting a flu shot can protect people around you who are at greater risk and even those who can’t get the flu shot themselves.
What is the Flu Vaccine and How Does a Flu Vaccine Work?
Like most immunizations or vaccinations, the influenza vaccine was created specifically to help bolster your immune system in defense against the influenza virus. However, unlike most vaccines, because the influenza virus is constantly changing and evolving the vaccination is reformulated by scientific experts every year to keep it up to date and most effective against the flu.
Because of the constant change in formula, The Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should get their flu shot every year.
There are many different versions of the flu shot designed for various patient groups. For example, certain vaccines are safe for patients as young as 6 months of age, but there are other delivery methods that are designed only for people aged 18 and over.
No matter what the delivery method, all flu shots work in roughly the same fashion. They deliver information to the immune system about the various versions of the influenza virus that could threaten your health. This causes the body to build up antibodies against the influenza virus, which takes about two weeks. After those antibodies are formed they provide potent protection against the flu viruses that were in the vaccine.
Each year the vaccine formula is designed to protect against the variants of the flu the research shows will be the most common during the upcoming season. Traditional vaccines are called “trivalent” vaccines because they protect against 3 forms of the flu, an H1N1 virus, an influenza A virus, and an influenza B virus.
Additional vaccines that can be had are called “quadrivalent” vaccines and they are designed to protect against the previous 3 viruses as well as a additional influenza B virus.
A standard dose virus is grown in eggs and distributed via a needle. There are also options to receive the vaccine from egg-free sources and via jet injector.
It is important to note that the CDC does not show preference for one vaccine above another and strongly recommends that individual and public health is greatly benefitted by getting your flu shot every year. Angels Medical takes the same position as the CDC and encourages all our Houston neighbors to come on in and take advantage of our low-cost flu shots before the flu season every year.
If you have more questions about getting a flu shot, check out our article, “10 Frequently Asked Questions About Flu Shots”.