Flu season is about to get into full swing, have you gotten your flu shot yet?
The Centers For Disease Control (CDC) urges all Americans 6 months of age and older to keep up to date with their yearly dose of flu vaccine, but last year, only 42% of Americans opted to get the flu shot. To combat flu vaccine ennui in healthy Americans, the CDC declared December 4th through 10th National Influenza Vaccination Week, in hopes of encouraging more people to opt for the shot. Still, the majority of Americans will go unvaccinated against the flu for the upcoming flu season, and Dr. Andrew Pavia of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) said the protection it offers outweighs the risks- and that it’s not just for the immunocompromised:
“The flu shot is like the seat belt- it’s easy to use and protects against serious complications, even if the protection is not perfect… Last year, during a relatively mild flu season, we treated very severe complications of the flu in otherwise healthy teenagers. So, just as everyone uses seat belts, everybody, even healthy people, should get the flu vaccine.”
ISDA’s president, Dr. Thomas Slama, said that while many believe that general good health would protect them from flu complications, it’s not just the elderly and very young at risk of serious bouts of influenza:
“People often shrug off concerns about the flu, yet every year it strikes up to 20 percent of Americans, sending more than 200,000 to the hospital and killing thousands.”
Unlike most vaccines, flu vaccines are available not only in doctor’s offices, but in retail outlets and chain pharmacies across the country.