First things first: yes, there are some people who shouldn’t get the flu shot. If you think you might be one of them, check with your doctor. For everyone else, getting the yearly flu vaccine is still the best way to keep yourself healthy, productive, and on your co-workers’ good side during the upcoming flu season. People in your office will thank you if you don’t bring the sickness in to work, and your body will thank you if you can avoid feeling like death by getting a simple shot in the arm. Seriously, what are you waiting for?
(Photo Credit: Army Medicine/Flickr)
Look, the simple truth of the matter is getting the flu shot is the best way to protect yourself from getting the flu. Flu season is just getting started, and since the shot takes about two weeks to reach maximum effectiveness, you want to get it now, not later. If you already have a list of excuses as to why you don’t want to get one this year, don’t worry, we have some science to refute each and every one of them.
1. I got the flu shot last year, but I still got the flu!
Well, nobody’s perfect, and yes, last year, the flu strain everyone was expecting went ahead and mutated on us, so the shot wasn’t as effective. It sometimes happens. See, what scientists do is they track the flu as it makes its way around the globe, heading straight for your door. That’s how they make nifty maps that show where the flu is striking each week. They can test what strain of flu sick people have, and then the flu shot for the “flu season” is designed based on what scientists think will be the ones to watch out for. This year’s flu shot is already expected to be really effective against the flu.
2. It’s too expensive.
Nope. It’s not. Most insurance companies cover the flu shot 100 percent, thanks to the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare). Your work might even offer a free flu shot clinic on a day or two. If you already missed it, go to any pharmacy. They’re all offering the flu shot right now. That’s right, this very minute you could be getting a free flu shot. If you don’t have insurance, your neighborhood clinic, government office, hospital could also be offering free flu shots. Get off your butt and go get one! They’re free!
3. I swear the flu shot gave me the flu.
Not buying it. You physically cannot get the flu from a flu shot. The flu shot is created from dead viruses. Dead viruses can’t make you sick. They can give you a bit of an “off” feeling, maybe a malaise like aches and a low fever, but that’s an immune response. You want to feel that way. It’s a good reaction to getting a vaccination.
4. I never get the flu, so I’m not going to get the shot.
OK, you have a pretty good immune system, or you have been lucky in the past. But keep in mind, not everyone is you. Should you happen to get sick, you’ll be potentially putting everyone you come in contact with at risk for the illness. This means the elderly, pregnant ladies, young children, infants, and people with compromised immune systems (who are all at high risk for the flu, but some of which could be prevented from getting a flu shot) are going to be exposed to a potentially deadly illness because you won’t get a little jab in the arm. Nice.
5. I don’t like needles.
Needles are a drag, it’s true. But A: the flu shot is a really tiny needle and B: the flu shot isn’t just available via an injection. You can also get it in a cool nasal spray. This is a great way to get kids to get their vaccination, so how come you haven’t gotten one yet? Note: if you’re pregnant, you shouldn’t get the nasal spray option. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist about what’s right for you.
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