Why You Absolutely Need to get a Flu Shot This Year

Written by Gilberto Espana, Reporter

It’s the time of the year to receive your seasonal influenza vaccine. Medical experts have stated Thursday is the beginning of flu season as all Americans should prepare to get the vaccine. All Americans need to receive a flu shot as soon as possible to stay healthy. A flu shot is not perfect, but all Americans should consider taking it to prevent any health problems.

Last year’s flu season was one of the deadliest in the last 40 years. Doctors estimate of 80,000 people died, including 180 children. Which shows why you should consider getting a flu shot. People now have the option of getting the nasal spray vaccine this season instead of a needle. Most people believe the flu shot will not help them, but you can still catch the flu, regardless of getting a vaccination.

Doctor Lisa Maragakis who is the senior director of infection prevention at the John Hopkins Health system in Baltimore, Maryland answered various questions about the flu shot. She says there are several types of flu vaccines available such as the standard dose flu shots, high dose shots, shots made with adjuvant, cell-based flu vaccine, recombinant vaccine, and Live attenuated influenza vaccine. Each shot is different depending on your age and health.

Each flu vaccine available protects you against three strains of the virus or protects against four. The flu vaccine will kill or weaken viruses to stop any sickness. The flu shot is not recommended for babies under 6 months. And people who may have an allergy to the vaccine. Flu season starts in November, but doctors are recommending you receive the shot by the end of October. The shot protects you until March and you’ll have to get another one the next month.

The flu shot did not work well last year as the vaccine only reduces a person’s risk by 40 percent. The flu shot should be at least 60 percent effective. Each flu vaccine should include three to four strains which means it will protect against other viruses.

The flu vaccines are usually free, but it all depends on your insurance coverage, and your age. You should always call ahead to make sure you have insurance to cover your flu shot. Without it, you will have to pay between $20 to $70 dollars. The Ieuter Insurance Group operating in Westland can help as well.