As we move into flu season, many people will get their flu shot like they do every year in order to help protect themselves and their family from what can be a very serious illness. Others we talk to at our pediatric clinic wonder if it is necessary for them and their children to get vaccinated. If you are in the latter camp, there are many reasons why this preventative measure makes good sense.
Why You and Your Child Should Get Vaccinated Against the Flu
If you are on the fence about getting a flu shot, below are nine reasons why it is the right thing to do, for you and your child.
- The flu can be deadly. While healthy people who contract influenza tend to recover after a few weeks without treatment, each year hundreds of thousands of people who get the flu are hospitalized and tens of thousands die from it.
- The flu vaccine is approved for nearly anyone over six months of age. Rarely is a person not a candidate for a flu shot.
- Missing school or work can be costly. People with the flu should stay home to prevent spreading the illness. That time away from school can cause children to fall behind in their studies, and sick days that keep adults off the job can have a financial impact.
- You cannot get the flu from the flu vaccine. Some people believe that the flu shot can actually cause the flu. That is not true. The flu shot contains a deadened form of the virus that cannot cause the illness.
- Side effects, if any, are mild. Although the flu shot cannot cause the flu, it may produce minor side effects such as a headache, sore throat or congestion. If it does, those symptoms are mild and last a few days as compared to the symptoms of the flu, which can be severe and last up to two weeks.
- There is a needle-free option. Most healthy people between the ages of 2 and 49 can get their flu vaccine in the form of a nasal spray.
- The flu shot is formulated for this year’s virus. Every year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) determines which of the many strains of flu are likely to occur this season and develops the appropriate vaccine. The shot can help prevent the flu, and even if you get the illness, being vaccinated helps minimize the symptoms you experience.
- Getting a flu shot is fast and easy. You can get your shot from many different providers (your family doctor, certain drug stores and grocers, etc.) and the injection or nasal spray literally takes seconds to administer.
- You getting the shot helps protect others. What is referred to as “herd immunity” means that the more people who are immunized against a disease, the less chance there is that someone who can’t get the shot for one reason or another will contract the illness.
Why Wait? Get Your Flu Shot Today!
The sooner you and your family get vaccinated, the less likely you are to contract the flu. If you have questions about influenza or the flu shot, the care team at Mountainland Pediatrics is happy to answer them. You can reach our pediatric clinic at (303) 430-0823.