Influenza vaccines protect against the four influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. This data is based on the current flu season in Australia, as their seasons are opposite of ours in the U.S.
Most flu vaccines are “flu shots” given with a needle, usually in the arm, but there also is a nasal spray flu vaccine for those who may have a phobia of needles, or otherwise are unable to get an actual shot.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
Although everyone can benefit from receiving their flu shot, there are certain groups of people that are at higher risk of complications that should get their yearly shot.
Some of those most at risk are:
· Those who live with asthma and diabetes
· Those who have heart disease or previously had a stroke
· Adults who are 65+
· Pregnant people
· People who are immunocompromised and living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, or other auto-immune disorders
The CDC estimates that the flu vaccine reduces a person’s risk of developing an illness related to the flu by up to 40-60%.
Why should I get the flu vaccine?
Not only will it reduce your risk immensely, but because of the ever-changing strains of flu viruses that come out each year, getting an updated flu vaccine is key to getting protected and staying protected.
When should I get my flu shot?
The best time to get your flu shot is in September or October.
By getting your vaccine early in the fall, you get ahead of the curve and can prevent not only yourself from getting sick, but also your friends and loved ones too. It is a good idea for older adults that are 65+ to get their flu vaccines as soon as they are available, as well as for children.
Early vaccination can be considered for those in the third trimester of pregnancy because it can help protect their infants during the first months of their lives. That immunity carries over to the newborn once they make their debut in the world.
The flu vaccine prevents millions of illnesses and other flu-related physician visits each year, which is why it’s important to protect yourself and those around you by getting vaccinated.