Everyone should get a flu shot every year, and with good reason. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the vaccination shot prevents countless infections each year. This saves thousands of Americans from making a trip to the hospital during the flu season. Unfortunately, one in two American men skips taking the shot thinking that it’s unnecessary.
Although the flu vaccine is not 100% effective, experts insist that it is still the best way to prevent and fight the flu. Here are five reasons why everyone should get the flu vaccine in 2016.
1. Even Seemingly Healthy People Can Spread the Flu
Not everyone who contracts the flu exhibits symptoms of the illness. It is estimated that as many as 3 out of 10 people who catch the flu virus are asymptomatic. But that does not stop them from spreading the infection to their family, friends and colleagues at work. To prevent this possibility, everyone should get a flu shot, whether they feel ill or not.
2. The Flu Vaccine is Highly Effective
According to a recent study by the University of Arizona for its master of public health online MPH degree program, the flu shot is considered to be the best defense against the influenza virus. The report claims that increasing the rate of vaccination by only 5% can reduce the number of flu cases by about 800,000. Hospitalizations resulting from the flu would also reduce by about 10,000.
3. The Flu Vaccine is Readily Available
Getting a flu shot is now easier than ever. It is available in major drug stores such as CVS and Walgreens. In some cases, buyers can even get a dose of the flu shot at a local Target or certain grocery stores, all without an appointment. However, it is recommended that people with severe protein allergies should see a doctor before they take a flu shot. You can also visit www.flu.gov for a list of the closest places you can get the vaccine.
4. The Flu Shot is Cheap and Painless
Some people have a phobia of needles. Others fear paying for something that will cause them pain. Fortunately, this is not the case with the flu shot. For one, health insurance plans cover the cost of getting the jab. The uninsured don’t have to break the bank to get one, too. It only costs a mere $20. Next, there are painless alternatives to the flu shot. Anyone with a fear of needles can opt for a nasal mist instead, and it is just as effective.
5. The Flu Vaccine is 100% Safe
One of the most common myths about the flu is that you can contract it from the vaccine, and it’s easy to see where this misconception comes from. Since the flu shot takes a fortnight to be effective, some people get sick immediately after getting one, and blame the sickness on the vaccine. However, getting ill that soon after a vaccination usually means that the person was already infected before getting the shot.
The flu season comes back every year and runs from October to February. To be safe, everybody should get vaccinated annually, even if they are not exhibiting symptoms of the disease.