Don’t Forget Your Flu Shot This Year
Hey Michiganders! With all the news about COVID-19 in the last year, it becomes easy to forget that influenza is still among us. Each year influenza infection millions of adults and children (an estimated 39 to 56,000,000 cases – source) and leads to countless hospitalizations as well. Our healthcare system has been stressed so much in the last year that we need to do everything we can to avoid outbreaks of preventable diseases such as influenza. Because I want to protect my family and because I’m a healthcare worker and make sure every year to get my flu shot. And you should too!
Influenza is a Very Serious Disease
Influence it may seem like no big deal at all to most of us but for those who have complications it can be very serious indeed. In the state of Michigan they were almost 1000 in the 2019-2020 flu season. Thankfully that has not been an issue this year and that is probably because of social distancing and masking, not to mention the fact that so many people have gotten their flu vaccine. But as our states start to open up again and kids are back in school, influenza could once again gain a foothold in our communities.
Benefits of the Flu Vaccine
When you get a flu vaccine you can help to prevent you and your loved ones from being hospitalized. In fact, in recent years, influenza vaccination has reduced the risk of flu hospitalizations of my adults by almost 40%! It can reduce your chances of having to go to the doctor and it can help your kids stay healthy too! And even if you end up developing influenza getting the flu vaccine can also reduce the severity of illness. A 2018 study showed that among adults hospitalized with flu, vaccinated patients were 59 percent less likely to be admitted to the ICU than those who had not been vaccinated. And among adults in the ICU with flu, vaccinated patients on average spent 4 fewer days in the hospital than those who were not vaccinated. (Source)
Get Your Kids Vaccinated Too!
And don’t forget that having your kids vaccinated against influenza is important as well. As a mom I can tell you there have been years where my children did not get the vaccine and I regretted that because they did get sick. And when your kids get sick that means you can get sick too. That is not only true for me but for everyone else. And flu vaccination significantly reduces a child’s risk of dying from the flu (Source). Even if you’re pregnant, you can still get the vaccine and it can help both you and your unborn child. So getting the flu vaccine for your kids it’s just one other thing you can do to protect your family.
The Flu Vaccine Does Not Cause the Flu
I often hear that people are skeptical about getting the influenza vaccine because they think it will cause them to become sick from the flu itself. That is just not true. Most people tolerate the flu vaccine quite well, with very minimal side effects. The most common side effects are soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling at the site of the shot. Sometimes people may develop a low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches. These minor side effects are just signs of your body developing the immunity it needs to fight off the flu. And that is way better than getting influenza itself!
The Bottom Line
Overall, the most important thing for you to know is that the flu vaccine is safe, effective and can protect you and everyone around you. It is appropriate for people age 6 months and older who do not have a medical contraindication. And with COVID-19 being all around us we need to do whatever we can to decrease our chances of communicable illness such as influenza as well.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read today’s posts and the important message behind it. Please do not hesitate to reach out to me if you ever have any questions.
Thanks for stopping by!
April | The Blue Hydrangeas
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