The time to think about scheduling that flu shot is now, before the start of flu season. The flu is an extremely contagious respiratory infection that spreads quickly through sneezing, coughing and virus-contaminated hands. Flu shots are a quick and easy way to protect your health and prevent the spread of illness and yet only 43%* of the population got vaccinated in 2011.
So, what keeps people from getting a flu shot? The following are a list of misconceptions about flu vaccinations:
A flu shot will give you the flu. Modern flu vaccines are made from a dead virus, which means it cannot cause the flu. It takes your shot about two weeks to become fully effective. If you get the flu, you contracted it before your shot took effect.
A flu shot protects you from every type of flu. Scientists create a flu vaccine based on the previous years’ data to predict which viruses are most likely to be active the next flu season.
Been there, done that; don’t need it again. Like hemlines, the flu changes slightly every year. Last year’s shot will be ineffective against the new variation.
There are people who should always get a flu shot. The list includes pregnant women, children 6 months to 19 years old and residents of care facilities. Check with your physician or the Centers for Disease Control for the complete list.
Every second counts; don’t let this be the year you get the flu.
*According to the CDC data from 2011. http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/story/health/story/2011-09-21/CDC-urges-all-Americans-to-get-flu-shots/50498538/1