The Importance of the Flu Shot

The Importance of the Flu Shot

by Stephanie Meadows

Have you ever felt groggy, achy and feverish…or even all of the above? Well you most likely have caught the dreaded flu bug. According to the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), the flu affects between 5 and 20 percent of the United States population each year. The coughing, fever, headache, sore throat, and runny nose that comes with the flu can be enough to keep you bedridden for a week or more.

The typical flu season occurs from fall to early spring. The length and severity of an epidemic may vary, and some lucky individuals may get through flu-free. We can always expect to be surrounded by sneezing and coughing for a few months out of every year. 

Any type of sickness, especially the flu, can really put a damper on your work and social life. If you’re worried about missing out on holiday celebrations, family events, social activities or work, flu prevention is key. Getting an annual flu shot can spare you the misery of illness and ensure that you don’t miss out on activities and events this season.

How does the flu shot work?

The flu virus mutates and adapts every year, which is why it’s so widespread and difficult to avoid. New vaccines are created and released every year to keep up with these rapid changes. Before each new flu season, federal health experts predict which three strains of the flu are most likely to thrive. They use that information to manufacture the appropriate vaccines to be distributed en masse.

Who needs the flu shot?

While some may be more prone to infection than others, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend that everyone six months of age or older be vaccinated against the flu.

If you think you may need the flu shot to be protected against influenza call Colonial Family Practice at (803) 773-5227 to request an appointment.