It's Flu Shot Season

It’s not just pumpkin spice latte season; it’s flu shot season. The CDC recommends that everyone 6 months and older get a flu shot by the end of the end of October, and up to 168 million doses of the flu vaccine are available.[1] The CDC’s recommendation is based on the fact that it takes the antibodies in the vaccines about two weeks to develop and protect an individual from most strains of influenza. Flu season typically beings in early November. In the wake of one of the deadliest flu seasons on record, officials are concerned about people failing to get vaccinated.  According to the CDC, almost 80,000 people died from the flu out of the estimated 30.9 million people who contracted the virus.[2]  While 80,000 out of 30.9 million may seem like a very small number, this is twice the number of fatal car accidents that occurred last year.

While doctors have always recommended that “vulnerable” populations like the elderly and infants, get flu shots, the danger of the flu to “healthiest” populations is becoming more apparent. A 2018 study found that “half of children who die of the flu have no underlying medical conditions.” Approximately 50,000 “healthy” individuals under the age of 50 were hospitalized for complications related to the flu last year.

The flu vaccine is actually most effective for “healthy” individuals and can prevent serious complications that can lead to hospitalization and death. Many insurance providers cover the full cost of flu vaccinations.

 

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/the-big-number-millions-of-flu-vaccines-will-be-offered-this-season/2018/10/05/08b44b62-c7de-11e8-b1ed-1d2d65b86d0c_story.html?utm_term=.cbf1746ecfcf

[2] https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/flu-can-be-a-killer-but-some-refuse-to-take-a-shot/2018/10/05/0526cfaa-c5a5-11e8-9b1c-a90f1daae309_story.html?utm_term=.e719207cd80b

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