While some people think the flu is little more than a bad cold, it can be very serious—even deadly. Each year, millions of people become ill, hundreds of thousands are hospitalized, and thousands die because of the virus. And the last flu season was one of the worst in recent history.
A flu shot is still the most effective means we have to prevent people from catching the flu. You need to get a flu shot annually because flu viruses change each year, and last season’s shot won’t protect you from the latest strain. One common myth is that the flu shot can make you sick. But because it’s made from inactive viruses, it can’t infect you. If you do get sick after the shot, you were probably exposed to the virus before or just after being vaccinated, because the flu shot takes about two weeks to take effect.
Healthcare workers–who are at greatest risk of being exposed to the virus–protect themselves and their patients when they get a flu shot.
With the start of flu season just around the corner, now is the time to start planning on getting your flu shot. It’s quick and easy to get one at most worksites or at your local pharmacy. And remember, your Benefit Fund covers flu vaccinations, so you can also see your doctor for the shot.
Sources: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Why Get a Flu Shot?
Our Chief Medical Officer Tells You
Watch Dr. Van H. Dunn, our Chief Medical Officer, explain the importance of getting a flu shot as part of our Healthy Living Spotlight video series. The videos are posted on our website and include a wealth of information on preventive measures that can help you avoid health problems and many types of chronic illnesses. Watch the flu-shot video and access the rest of Dr. Dunn’s Healthy Living Spotlight series.