Six Reasons to Get The Flu Vaccination This Season

Six Reasons to Get The Flu Vaccination This Season

It's that time of year! October is a great time to roll up your sleeve and you may have noticed my pharmacies and local events that offer the flu shot.  Dr. Terence Degan gives us six reasons to take this step in prevention:

1. Protect your loved ones (many older people don’t respond well to the vaccination.) If enough people get vaccinated, the so called “herd effect” protects those who either didn’t get vaccinated or don’t respond well to the vaccine.

2. Avoid missing a week of work (and chewing up that PTO). Unlike the common cold, the flu takes a good week to recover from.

3. It’s free!  Your health insurance company often pays for it to save money paying for your hospitalization.  Many large companies also pay for the cost of vaccination for their entire workforce for the same reason - it saves money from lost productivity!

4. It doesn’t hurt at all- at least when compared to the suffering from a week in bed. Flu symptoms are much worse that having a cold. Many will say after recovery that they will always get vaccinated: “That was the worst illness of my life!”

5. It’s safe- the risk of a serious reaction is very low, far below your risk from the flu. 6. It can save your life - the flu is a leading cause of death during the winter months. (October is the best month to receive the flu vaccine).

The CDC estimates that each year in the US influenza causes:         

  • 12,000 - 56,000 deaths         
  • 140,000 - 710,000 hospitalizations          
  • 9,200,000 - 35,600,000 illnesses

Their estimate is that vaccination for the 2015-2016 season prevented an estimated 5.1 million illnesses, 2.5 million medical visits, 71,000 hospitalizations, and at least 3,000 deaths. This is remarkable considering that only 36% of the population received the vaccine that year!

 

 

 Terence Degan is a board certified Family Practice physician with more than 30 years of experience. He is a graduate of Creighton Medical School and the Army’s Family Practice residency at Fort Ord. He enjoys duplicate bridge, birding and tennis.

Terence Degan is a board certified Family Practice physician with more than 30 years of experience. He is a graduate of Creighton Medical School and the Army’s Family Practice residency at Fort Ord. He enjoys duplicate bridge, birding and tennis.

*The most common type of flu shot is "inactive", meaning it does not CAUSE the flu.  This is a common misconception.

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