As we move through the Fall and Winter months, cases of the flu begin to rise. According to the CDC, flu season picks up in November with peaks coming in December through February. However, the flu poses a threat all the way through May. The CDC also indicates that there were more than 48.8 million illnesses due to influenza, 79,400 of them resulting in death.
Despite these statistics, many individuals still fail to respect the power of flu viruses and do not get a flu vaccine every year. Here are several compelling reasons why you need a vaccine to prevent the flu this season.
The Flu is Always Changing
The influenza virus is always going through changes or ‘shifts’ from season to season. One of these changes is called an Antigenic Drift where mutations cause changes in the virus which trigger a response in our immune system. A flu vaccine protects against flu strains with similar antigenic properties. When another drift occurs, your body may not be able to recognize it and will once again be prone to illness.
The other change is an Antigenic Shift where a very sudden, significant change occurs to the proteins in the flu virus. A recent example of such a shift was the outbreak of swine flu in the United States ten years ago.
Getting a seasonal vaccine will give your immune system protection against the drifts that commonly occur year-to-year.
A Flu Vaccine Protects Others, Not Just You
Even if your body is able to resist the influenza virus, it’s still highly contagious. You may end up carrying the virus to friends, family, coworkers, or others. This is particularly important for young children and elderly people who have a higher risk of infection. Individuals over 65 are likely to have pre-existing medical conditions worsened by side effects of the flu virus. For example, a flu infection can lead to life-threatening pneumonia.
They Are Available at Most Pharmacies
Flu vaccines are more readily available than ever in an effort to protect high-risk individuals. A health care professional will be available to immunize at most pharmacies, walk-in clinics, and even some schools and places of employment. Many of these locations will offer flu vaccines free for anyone in a high-risk demographic. Even without insurance, the shot costs roughly $30 and protects you for the entire year. If you have additional concerns, talk to your doctor about your options.
Get a Flu Vaccine at Home with Table Rock Mobile Medicine
Table Rock Mobile Medicine will travel to your home to administer flu shots for a minimum of 2 people per household. We also offer our shots at the very affordable price of $25 and will bill insurance companies at no cost to you. Because of this, we request sign-ups early on our Facebook page. If you have any questions, give us a call today at (208)-991-3232 for Brad or (208)-861-7463 for Joslyn. Also, follow us on Facebook for more information.