The changing leaves and dropping temperature can only mean one thing – flu season is right around the corner. That means it’s time to think about getting an annual flu shot. The flu vaccine protects against the most common types of influenza viruses. It can prevent you from getting the flu and also reduce doctor’s visits and time away from work and school. With approximately 200,000 Americans hospitalized due to complications from the flu each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), getting a flu shot is an important way to safeguard your family’s health.
Who Should Get a Flu Vaccine?
- Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine by the end of October, if possible.
- Pregnant women can safely get a flu shot and it will protect their babies for several months after birth.
- People who are 65 years and older.
- Anyone who has been diagnosed with chronic health conditions.
Vaccination prevents complications in people with heart disease, especially those who have had a cardiac event in the past year. Flu vaccination is also associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes (79%) and chronic lung disease (52%).
Debunking Vaccine Myths
Myth: Getting vaccinated against influenza will trigger the flu virus
FACT: You cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Like any medicine, the flu vaccine may cause problems, including severe allergic reactions. However these occur rarely. Almost all people who get the influenza vaccine have no serious problems.
Myth: The vaccine does not protect against all types of influenza viruses
FACT: The flu shot protects against 3 to 4 types of viruses and even among people who tend to respond less well to vaccination, the flu vaccine can still help prevent influenza. Flu vaccination also may make your illness milder if you do get sick.
Myth: Taking necessary precautions against the flu are safer than getting the vaccine
FACT: Getting a flu vaccine each year is the best way to prevent the flu. Good health habits, such as covering your cough and frequently washing your hands with soap, are also important tools to help prevent the spread of the flu and other respiratory illnesses.
Influenza vaccines are a covered benefit for Paradigm Health Plans Members. For additional information, please call the Member Advantage Program (MAP) at 1.888.422.8181 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention