Wondering why you should get vaccinated every year against the flu?

Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalizations and sometimes fatal outcomes. Every year during the flu season, the infection can affect each of us in a different way. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is one of the best ways to keep away from influenza as it has several benefits including, the reduction of flu risk, hospitalizations, and even childhood mortality.

The story of influenza is a familiar one- the contagious virus is transmitted from a person to another via a cough, sneeze, and contaminated surfaces. But what most of us do not realize is that these person-person chains represent a great potential for interrupting transmission. Vaccination not only reduces your risk of spreading the virus but also increases your contributions to protecting your whole community.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends an annual influenza vaccine for all individuals, 6 months and older who do not possess any contraindications to the vaccine. But each year, more than half of Americans miss out on getting the chance to contribute to community immunity as well as personal protection because of skipping the flu shots.

Here are some reasons why Americans skip the vaccine:

  • They think influenza is just a mere head cold- It is not. Flu can cause severe illness and even death. Several children have died from the flu this year. Even a mild case can put otherwise-healthy adults hospitalized at least for a week. And you are likely to pass on the infection to a couple of people who will transmit it to a couple of others.
  • They aren’t aware of the good they do by getting it- CDC estimates that people who got vaccinated against the influenza virus in 2016-2017 helped prevent 5.3 million cases of flu. Isn’t preventing millions of individuals from suffering and dying a major success worth celebrating?
  • They think it doesn’t work well- While there isn’t any method to prevent the flu perfectly, the vaccine is one effective option. If a single flu shot can make you save someone else’s life, won’t you take it as an opportunity to make a life-changing impact?
Flu Vaccine
A new vaccine based on the influenza virus can soon be used to against a wide range of flu viruses. Reuters/Eric Gaillard