5 Reasons to Get Your Flu Shot Now

Vaccines for illnesses like chicken pox, polio, and MMR are commonplace and often required by schools in order for children to attend. A vaccine is a simple shot that uses a very small amount of a weakened disease to stimulate the production of antibodies in order to protect against that specific disease. They are safe, effective, and meant to save lives.

The flu vaccine is not a required immunization, but it continues to grow in popularity as more and more as people recognize its powerful use for preventing illness. It’s easy to be skeptical of this vaccine or make excuses as to why you probably shouldn’t get it.

But the reasons to schedule your immunization appointment are very convincing.

1. Protect the people that you care about. Children and the elderly are at increased risk of contracting the flu, and thousands every year are hospitalized for severe influenza infections. By protecting yourself, you will also make yourself less contagious to the people around you. It may not bother you to risk being sick for a few days on the couch, but your 5-year-old daughter or 73-year-old neighbor won’t have as easy a time fighting off the infection. If nothing else, you can consider your flu shot as a form of public service to keep others safe and healthy.

2. The flu can be more than just “the flu.” Though the flu can sometimes attack for only 2 or 3 days and then let you return to your daily activities, it also has the real potential to hit you hard for 2 weeks or even send you to the hospital with severe symptoms. The flu can worsen existing health conditions and also lead to pneumonia and dehydration. It’s impossible to know exactly how terrible a flu season will be, or how many people will be hospitalized, but the shot guarantees less of the population will be affected.

3. It’s affordable and easy. Not many things in the medical world can claim this title, but the flu vaccine is truly very simple to get. Major retailers, clinics, and pharmacies all offer the shot (in addition to your regular doctor, of course) so you can effortlessly get your shot in the middle of grocery shopping and grabbing a coffee. Better yet, insurance companies usually cover the cost of the shot, so you can keep your wallet in your pocket.

4. The flu vaccine no longer requires a needle! A nasal spray flu vaccine now exists to immunize anybody with an aversion to needles. It’s approved for ages 2–49, as long as that person doesn’t have any existing health conditions.

5. The flu vaccine can’t give you the flu! The most prevalent myth surrounding the flu shot insists that getting the flu shot will cause you to contract the flu. This is false! The vaccines are created using weakened or inactive viruses which cannot cause flu illness. Other people express frustration toward the flu shot because it isn’t 100% guaranteed, but even if you contract the flu after getting the vaccine, chances are your illness will be far milder with a quicker recovery than if your immune system hadn’t been prepared at all.

At the end of the day, getting a flu shot is a smart preventative measure to protect yourself and others from a potentially dangerous illness.