Show your love, get a flu shot
There are many good reasons to get a flu shot (and get it early), but one of the best is to help protect your loved ones.
The flu is more than just a bad cold. It spreads easily and can make existing health problems worse.¹
Everyone over 6 months of age should get vaccinated against the flu each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). A flu shot is especially important for people at higher risk during the flu season, including those who:²
- Are younger than 5 or older than 65
- Are pregnant, especially in the second and third trimesters
- Struggle with breathing issues like asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (CPOD)
- Have heart disease, blood disorders or diabetes
- Are on medical treatments or drugs that can weaken the immune system
Help protect your loved ones
Getting a flu shot is about more than taking care of your own health. By helping keep yourself flu-free, you can reduce the chance of passing the virus to family and friends at home or your workplace. That includes babies and young children, along with adults with a weakened immune system or chronic health issues.
Living or working in close daily contact with others is another good reason to get your flu shot. The flu can spread more easily in places like nursing homes and schools.³
Get ahead of flu season
The vaccination can take a couple of weeks to reach full effect, but seasonal flu can start spreading in October and increase during the holiday travel season. That’s why the CDC recommends getting a flu shot as soon as it becomes available, usually in September.⁴
Don’t let excuses ruin your winter
Sometimes it can be all too easy to put off getting a flu shot while telling yourself you don’t really need it or it won’t do any good. But here are some important facts to remember about flu:⁵
- Even healthy people can get the flu.
- Flu shots cannot give you the flu.
- Egg-free vaccines are available for those with allergies.
- Flu strains change, so you need a new shot every year at the start of each new flu season.
- It takes a few weeks to work, so don’t wait until you start to feel sick to get your shot.
The shot may not protect against every flu strain each year, but even if you get the flu, having had your shot can still reduce the severity of the illness.
What are you waiting for?
Getting a flu shot is quick and easy at most doctor’s offices, clinics or nearby pharmacies.
- “Preventive Steps,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed September 24, 2019, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/prevention.htm.
- “People at High Risk for Flu Complications,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed September 24, 2019, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/highrisk/index.htm.
- “Influenza (flu),” Mayo Clinic, last accessed September 24, 2019, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/flu/symptoms-causes/syc-20351719.
- “Who Needs a Flu Vaccine and When,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed September 24, 2019, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/vaccinations.htm.
- “Influenza-Related Questions & Answers by Topic,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last accessed September 24, 2019, https://www.cdc.gov/flu/.