Should You Get the Flu Shot?
Short answer: Yes.
Flu season can be unpredictable. The seasonal vaccine protects against the 3 to 4 predicted most common viruses and cuts your risk of getting the flu by 70 percent. We all know a naysayer or two, but the majority of people have nothing to lose by receiving the flu shot and for those at high-risk, the vaccine could be life saving.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that everyone over the age of six months get the flu shot as soon as it becomes available. Viruses begin to circulate around October and it takes up to two weeks to build immunity. Flu season can run through March or even later.
Who is at Risk?
The flu shot is particularly important for individuals with a specific risk of infection. Conditions that may put you at high-risk for the flu include:
- Cystic fibrosis
- Chronic lung or heart disease
- Blood, endocrine, kidney, liver, neurologic or metabolic disorders
- Weak immune system or HIV/AIDS
- Obesity or BMI over 40
- Long-term aspirin therapy
Those under the age of 5 and over the age of 65 are especially encouraged to get the flu shot, as well as all health care personnel and caregivers of at-risk patients.