Stop by for your flu shot in 2020! Influenza symptoms can take a significant toll on your physical health as well as your emotional, mental, and social performance. Learn more about how a flu vaccine can make a huge impact on preserving your health as well as your work-life balance with these 7 reasons to get yours today!
- Reduce Your Risk of Getting Severe Symptoms
Floridians often feel safe from the harmful effects of influenza in the warmer climate. But, did you know complications from the flu are to blame for over 2,700 deaths in Florida alone each year? Thankfully, flu shots can help! The vaccine prompts your body to develop antibodies against the leading strains of influenza circulating after two weeks and continues to provide protection for up to six months. Such antibodies will reduce your risk of experiencing severe flu-related complications including inflammation in the heart, brain, lungs, or multiple organs for up to six months.
- Decrease Your Healthcare Costs ?
When you develop a severe infection, you are likely going to require an extended stay in your local hospital plus a variety of tests, visits with specialists, and treatments. Even moderate symptoms that include ear or sinus infections may need medical care at your physician’s office or urgent care clinic. Therefore, by getting a flu shot, you could be avoiding a financial strain caused by receiving multiple levels of medical care.
- Don’t Miss out at Work
Speaking of costs, those missed days at work while you recover at home or seek treatment at a medical facility can be another layer of financial and emotional stress. A flu vaccine can build up your defenses against the virus so that you can keep moving forward both at work and at home. That’s great news for business owners, employees, medical professionals, first responders, caretakers, students, and in-home healthcare workers alike!
- Last Year's Shot Does not Help This Year
Since the flu vaccine is only effective between about two weeks after receiving the shot until the following first six months, it is important to get your flu shot annually. Another thing to consider is the mutation of the virus and the primary strain that could be circulating. Healthcare professionals provide new flu vaccines each year that are thought to aid with the most current strain of influenza the public is likely to encounter at the time of the vaccine.
- Lower Your Chances of Spreading the Flu to Others
Beyond the benefits for the individual receiving the flu shot, there are community-based reasons to choose to get the current vaccine each year as well. For example, your flu shot will decrease your risk of transferring influenza to the members of your household or community. On that note, the more people receive their annual influenza vaccine the less likely those community members that fall in the high risk of developing severe complications category will have to fear contracting the virus as they perform their essential tasks like picking up groceries. High-risk individuals include those with certain health conditions, children under six months of age, those with specific life-threatening allergies to the vaccine ingredients, and those who are over 65 years of age. If you have severe allergies or are wondering if your health history should prevent you from receiving your annual flu vaccine, please contact your primary care physician for more helpful information.
- Helps Distinguish Between Flu & COVID
During 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought another reason to put getting a flu shot high on your fall “To-Do” list. COVID-19 and influenza can have a similar presentation with symptoms that can be challenging to distinguish. This could make it difficult to know when to call your primary care physician, when you should be tested for COVID-19, and which treatments you should begin should you need a more advanced level of medical care. By getting your annual flu vaccine, you can reduce the chances of influenza being the culprit behind your moderate to severe symptoms.
- Avoid Getting Both COVID-19 & the Flu?
Certainly, you do not want your body to have to fight off one viral infection while battling another potentially harmful virus, especially when both can create severe infections in the lungs. This might be the case in the 2020-2021 influenza season as it may be possible to contract both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time.
Thus, to avoid the issue of having dual viral infections along with the others mentioned above, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is recommending everyone over six months of age receive a flu shot this fall unless your primary care physician has raised a health risk concern for your specific health history. If you have questions and live in the Lake Wales area, Dr. Navarro welcomes new patient appointments to discuss your concerns or symptoms. To schedule an appointment, use our online form or contact us at (863) 949-6541. We look forward to speaking with you and helping you stay safe and healthy during the flu season as well as year-round!