The flu season is already upon us! Flu season runs from October through May (sometimes later!). Influenza activity in NYS is already considered “sporadic.” This means that it’s time for a flu shot if your child hasn’t already received!
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about the flu shot. So, let’s do a reality check.
FACT: Last season,more than 61,000 people died from flu-related illnesses in the U.S.
FACT: Last season, 129 children died. During the 2017-2018 season, the CDC estimated that 80% of the deaths occurred in children who did not receive a flu vaccination.
FACT: Flu vaccinations save lives. That’s why it’s so important for everyone 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year.
FACT: The U.S. vaccination rate hovers at about 47 percent a year. This is far below the 70 percent target.
If you’re on the fence about getting a flu shot for your child (or yourself), here are 5 arguments to twist your arm.
1. Everyone is vulnerable.
Healthy adults die from the flu. Adults who are age 65 and older are particularly vulnerable.
Healthy children die from flu, too.
According to the CDC, 129 American children and teens (under the age of 18) died from the flu last winter. Eighty percent of them had not received a flu vaccine. And about half had no underlying illnesses before getting the flu. In other words, they had been healthy children.
2. Getting a flu shot is your civic duty.
Everybody gets the flu from somebody else. According to the CDC, people who have caught the flu virus are contagious one day before they start to feel sick and for up to seven days after.
So getting the flu shot will help protect your family, friends and co-workers. And CHILDREN!
3. If you get the flu vaccine, you can still get the flu, but you won’t be as sick.
After last winter’s severe season, some people are skeptical. They say: “Our family got the flu shot, but we still caught the flu.”
In fact, the 2017-18 season was the deadliest in more than 40 years. There was a very vicious virus, the so-called H3N2 influenza strain.
And yes, it’s true that the vaccine does not offer complete protection. The CDC estimates that flu vaccination reduces the risk of the virus by about 40 to 60 percent. Think of it this way: If you catch the flu, the vaccine does still offer some protection. It cushions the blow. Your illness is likely to be milder if you’ve had a flu shot. You’re less likely to get pneumonia (a major complication of the flu), and less likely to be hospitalized.
4. Pregnant women who get the flu shot protect their babies from flu.
Women who are pregnant should be vaccinated to protect themselves. The vaccine also offers protection for unborn babies, as antibodies are passed across the placenta. This will protect the baby during the first six months of life, until the baby is old enough to be vaccinated.
5. You cannot get flu from the flu vaccine.
You cannot get the flu from the flu shot.
The most common side effects are a sore arm, and perhaps a little swelling. Only 1 to 2 percent of people get a degree of fever. That is not the flu. These are not true flu symptoms. That is the body reacting to the vaccine, which is common after most vaccines.
The flu is unpredictable. It’s too soon to know what to expect this winter.
Don’t wait. The time to vaccinate your child is right now.
We are scheduling appointments for our flu clinics right now so call our office today!
Kinda catchy, isn’t it?