Health Hub: Why Are Flu Shots Important?

Fall has arrived, and with it, the start of flu season. While you can get the flu at any time, cases typically rise in October and hit their peak around the holidays. Learn why it's important to get your flu shot!



 

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO GET A FLU SHOT?

There’s no telling how bad the 2019-2020 season will be, but the high infection rate last year – and the virus’s life-threatening potential – are ample reasons to take this threat seriously and do what you can to protect your family. That means getting a flu shot.
 
Everyone over six months of age should receive a flu shot annually, ideally in the fall. This is the most important thing you can do to safeguard yourself and your children against an illness that causes serious discomfort and can be deadly.
 
Yes, you can still get the flu if you’ve been vaccinated. This is because the chosen vaccine strains for a given year may not perfectly match up with incoming flu strains. But if you get vaccinated, you’re far less likely to become ill, and if you do, your symptoms should be less severe.

 

 

NEW THIS YEAR

One new development in 2019 is that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is recommending families have their children vaccinated via the flu shot or the nasal spray vaccine for the best protection. The AAP did not previously recommend the nasal spray because it wasn’t considered as effective against certain virus strains. But this year, whatever form of vaccine your doctor recommends is fine.
 
Remember that even healthy people can become very sick from the flu – and can transmit it to those for whom the virus is potentially lethal, like babies and anyone with a compromised immune system. So do your part and get vaccinated this season!
 
 
Diahann Alleyne, MD, is a board-certified family medicine physician in Avalon Park. She has extensive experience in family medicine, preventive medicine and education, and treatment of chronic conditions. To learn more, visit YourCentralFloridaDoctor.com/FamilyMedicine or call 407-988-2226.

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