Do You Need a Flu Vaccine?

September 29, 2021
It may seem like COVID-19 vaccines are the only thing people are talking about nowadays, but it isn't the only vaccine that helps your immune system and community. Flu vaccinations are still an essential part of preventing illness and hospitalizations during the upcoming flu season. Plus, it is especially important as the coronavirus pandemic continues by limiting hospital usage for flu patients.
Top 3 Reasons to get the flu shot:
1. Protects you from flu illness, hospitalization, and death 
As you may know, getting vaccinated results in increased immunity against the flu. You are less likely to be hospitalized or have a severe illness if you get the flu after being vaccinated. If you want to limit your chances of contracting and being very sick with the flu, getting the shot is your best choice.

2. Protects more vulnerable people 

Not everyone is eligible for the flu vaccine, making getting vaccinated more critical for those who can. When more people are vaccinated, the seasonal flu spreads less. This means that young infants and high-risk individuals are less likely to contract the illness and have complications.

3. Can save the lives of children 

According to the CDC, in a 2017 study, children who received the seasonal flu vaccination saw a statistically significant decrease in death from the flu. It is a good idea to get the entire family vaccinated so everyone is protected.
Who is eligible for the Flu Shot?
1. Everyone six months and older
The CDC recommends that everyone over the age of six months can get the seasonal flu shot with very few exceptions. If you have a normal immune system and are over six months old, you should get vaccinated. People over the age of 65 can safely get the flu vaccine. 

2. Recommended for pregnant women
Getting the flu vaccine can be extra crucial for expectant mothers because it can protect both the mother and baby pre- and post-pregnancy. This means that the mother is protected from getting the flu and getting seriously ill from it, plus the baby is protected with antibodies for months after their birth.

3. Only Exceptions 
Again, there are very few cases where getting the flu vaccine is unsafe if you are over the age of six months. These rare cases include things like specific chronic illnesses, health history, and allergies. Talk to your doctor if you are concerned about your eligibility.
Are Flu Vaccines Safe?
Yes, the flu vaccine is safe. The vaccine for seasonal influenza has been used for over 50 years to protect millions of people against the flu. It is very effective and safe. If you have questions about the flu vaccine, you can find detailed information on the CDC’s website.
When and where should you schedule your flu vaccine appointment?
September and October are the best months to receive the flu vaccine, and any pharmacy or doctor's office should be able to provide you with one. While getting your flu vaccine, it may also be a great time to schedule your COVID-19 vaccination if you have not done so already. COVID-19 vaccines are just as safe and effective as flu vaccines. Plus, it is Ascension policy that all employees must be fully vaccinated.

Although some may still get flu if vaccinated, studies have shown that the severity is limited. Not only does this result in less severe illness for you, but it frees up more resources for other hospital patients, like those with COVID-19. So this flu season, make sure you are up to date on your flu vaccine and all other vaccinations.