Ten Reasons to get a Flu Shot

  1. We live in a world with other people. And we come in contact with them…at the grocery store, Flu Shot Lakes Region VNA Meredith Moultonborough Laconia Gilford Homecarethe pharmacy, religious services, restaurants, the work place, airplanes … everywhere. Those people came in contact with other people, and so on. We can pick up viruses like influenza easily from people we don’t even know because we are breathing the same air they breathe, touching the same door handles, pushing the same grocery carts. Flu vaccine protects you from what they carry and you cannot easily avoid.
  2. Flu vaccine protects you. Each year new influenza viruses circulate in the community and the population is susceptible to the flu. Getting the vaccine is your best protection from influenza.
  3. Flu vaccine protects others near you. Influenza virus can be shed by an unsuspecting individual up to 24 hours before they become symptomatic. So, very early in the period of infection, we can spread it to others even before we suspect we have it.
  4. Flu vaccine protects those who are at particular risk. Those who have serious disease, who are on cancer treatment or immunosuppressive therapies are at very high risk of becoming very sick or dying from influenza and its complications. When members of their families, their friends and their healthcare providers get vaccine, it builds a wall of immunity around the individual.
  5. Flu vaccine protects the community at large. When lots of people in a community have been vaccinated, it stops the virus from finding a convenient place to land and spread. The more people who are immunized, the less likely influenza is to take a foothold.
  6. There is no cure for influenza. There are some treatments that shorten the duration of symptoms if given early, but there is no cure for influenza. Mostly we treat the symptoms while waiting for the virus to run its course. Antibiotics are of no use in influenza because they only kill bacteria, and influenza is a virus not susceptible to the threat of antibiotics.
  7. Flu vaccine keeps you from developing complications of influenza. As if the flu wasn’t miserable enough on its own, some people develop serious complications like pneumonia and ear & sinus infections. And diabetics with influenza have trouble controlling their blood sugar during the period of infection.
  8. Flu season is long. It lasts from September to May and it sometimes comes in waves. But here is the important thing – we don’t know when it is coming to our vicinity.   A shot protects you for the entire flu season.
  9. Flu season tends to come when we would like to celebrate the winter holidays with family and friends. But those fun gatherings carry risk for unvaccinated people. They might get the flu and pass it on to others.
  10. Flu vaccine is safe, and the flu shot does not cause the flu. The shot is not capable of causing the flu because it is made from an inactivated protein. Some people do develop a little fever or aching after the vaccine because their own bodies are building up immunity to the virus.

ABOUT the Author: Margaret Franckhauser is Chief Executive Officer of Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice. The Mission of Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice is “Promoting dignity, independence, and well-being through the delivery of quality home health, hospice and community-based care services.” Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice serves Lakes Region communities in Belknap and Southern Carroll County and provides Home Care (nursing and rehabilitation services in the home); Pediatric Care (direct health care, education and support services for children and families); and a comprehensive, team-based Hospice program. Central New Hampshire VNA & Hospice is a not-for-profit, Medicare-certified provider of home care and hospice services, licensed by the State of New Hampshire. The agency is governed by a volunteer Board of Trustees and supported by private and corporate donations.

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