With so much focus on other viruses in the news — including Ebola, which has officially arrived in the United States, and Enterovirus D-68, which has impacted 628 people in 44 states as of October 7th, most of them children — many people are forgetting one virus that is guaranteed to affect at least one person you know directly: influenza.
While many people downplay the flu, the fact is that it can be extremely dangerous and even fatal for certain populations, including the very young, the elderly, and people with compromised immune systems, such as cancer patients. Even if you don’t fall into these groups, without treatment, your flu could balloon into a serious medical problem requiring hospitalization.
As we’ve said before, employers and HR managers should implement a flu shot program into workplace wellness initiatives — and not only for monetary reasons, but for the health of their work force. But if you’re an employee, you’re the one who decides whether you receive that crucial vaccine or not.
Here’s why you should say YES to the flu shot this flu season.
4 Flu Shot Facts That Make Vaccination a No-Brainer
Getting a flu shot will save you money.
Forget about all the cost savings for your company — when you get the flu shot as an employee, you’re also helping keep some dollars in your pocket.
If you catch the flu, you’ll spend money to visit your doctor and purchase medications, both prescription and over-the-counter. A flu shot can save all these costs. In fact, one study found that getting a flu shot saves you $30 on average. Considering that these cost savings don’t even factor in the physical discomfort and inconvenience of the flu, we feel it’s a worthy investment that pays off almost immediately.
The flu shot isn’t all about you. Yes, it will protect you from the virus, but it will also help protect others, too.
Think about it — there are certain people who can’t get the flu, perhaps because they’re immune-compromised or they’re too young (under 6 months). By choosing to get vaccinated, you’re helping to provide herd immunity by adding one more vaccinated person to the vaccinated population. The more people who are vaccinated, the less likely the virus is spread to the young, sick, or elderly, populations that are at high-risk for serious, even fatal, flu complications.
If you work with or are in contact with children, the elderly, or immune-compromised people, you should get your flu shot to help protect them against the virus. In 2013 alone, over 100 children died due to flu-related complications. 90% of them were unvaccinated, underscoring the need for parents to have their children vaccinated. Also, if you are a pregnant woman, you should be sure to get your flu shot, since influenza can be very dangerous to your unborn child — and the flu shot can protect your child up to 6 months after birth, at which point they can get vaccinated! According to the CDC, getting the flu shot during pregnancy is 92% effective in preventing infant hospitalization due to flu-related illness.
Getting a flu shot reduces your chances of a hospital visit for other medical conditions.
While the flu shot does not protect against other flu-like illnesses (which is why many people incorrectly think that they have the flu even after getting a flu shot), it can help reduce the rate of hospitalization for people suffering from chronic medical problems.
Research from the CDC shows that getting a flu shot resulted in a lower number of cardiac events among heart disease patients, particularly those who had experienced a cardiac event (such as a heart attack) in the last year. Also according to the CDC, getting a flu shot reduces the rate of hospitalization for diabetes by 79% and chronic lung disease by 52%. So even if you’re not concerned about influenza, consider that getting a flu shot might help you better deal with chronic conditions.
Getting a flu shot is the most effective prevention against influenza.
Sure, other preventative measures — washing your hands, disinfecting surfaces, and avoiding sick people — can help protect you against the flu. And no, getting a flu shot isn’t 100% effective, and its effectiveness can vary from person to person depending on their age, overall health, and time of vaccination. But it’s still more effective than the above methods, proven to reduce your chances of catching the flu by 70% to 90%, per the CDC.
In addition, they estimate that getting a flu shot in the 2013-14 flu season prevented 6.6 million flu-related illnesses and 79,000 hospitalizations in that season alone. Why not increase your protection against the flu by getting a flu shot and following the CDC’s everyday preventative guidelines?
Getting a flu shot at Test Smartly Labs: easy, affordable, effective.
Stop reading. Start preparing for flu season.
If you get your flu shot now, you’ll be best prepared for the onslaught of sneezes, wheezes, fatigue, and sick days that’s just ahead. Since flu vaccine shortages do occur, now is the best time for getting a flu shot.
Find your nearest wellness-certified Test Smartly Labs today and get your flu shot, no appointment, doctor’s orders, or insurance required. You’ll thank us later!