Getting a Flu Shot this year could save your life
Flu season is in full swing and the worst it has been in over 13 years. With Americans gathering this holiday season, numbers are only expected to rise.
It is not too late to get your flu shot! Although this year’s severe flu season arrived early, it usually peaks in February and can continue into May. During this National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW), December 5-9, 2022, you can do your part to protect yourself, your family, and those most vulnerable in our communities by not only getting a flu shot, but also by talking about the importance and value of vaccination with others.
Here are some of the most important reasons why you should get your flu shot today:
- It can save your life. Over 33 states are currently experiencing high or very high flu activity, which in some cases is leading to an increase in hospitalizations and even deaths.
- It can prevent you from getting the flu altogether. The flu shot changes each year and this year, it has proven to be a good match thus far. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data indicate that the 2022-2023 flu vaccine formulations are a good match to protect against the currently circulating flu viruses.
- Getting the flu shot helps to protect yourself and those most vulnerable. This includes newborns, those 65 years and older, and those with compromised immune systems.
- Flu shots are free and readily available. Most local pharmacies and healthcare providers across the country are administering the vaccine at no charge.
- Flu shots can help you avoid illness resulting in disruptions to your daily routine. The flu accounts for 111 million lost workdays and nearly $7 billion in lost productivity and sick days annually.
- It can reduce your sickness if you have a breakthrough case. Vaccinations help protect from getting the flu but if you do get sick, the vaccine will reduce your severity of illness and avoid hospitalizations.
- It’s not just a shot, nasal mists are available too. If people are afraid of needles, there is a nasal spray that can be given to healthy individuals ages 2-49.
Getting the flu from the flu shot is a myth. The flu vaccine is not a live virus and therefore cannot give you the flu.
Spending time with family and friends is an important part of the holiday season. This is especially true coming out of previous years of the pandemic where many families and friends were unable to safely gather. With a quick trip to a local pharmacy, you can avoid the flu or at a minimum prevent severe illness and enjoy your holiday season.
Jeff Bokser is Hagerty Consulting’s Vice President of Healthcare Programs with strategic expertise in all aspects of healthcare operations, finance, organizational resiliency, institutional preparedness, and recovery. Jeff has over 20 years of experience as a senior leader at NewYork-Presbyterian and Yale New Haven Health and served as Incident Commander guiding 40,000+ employees through numerous internal and external emergency response and recovery operations.