Flu Vaccine – The Time is Now
Every year, thousands of people fall ill due to influenza. Currently, using ESO Analytics, we are observing our baseline for incidence of influenza-like-illness of around 160-170 cases per day, compared to over 400 cases per day at the peak of the last flu season. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everyone 6 months of age and above should get vaccinated between the start of September but before the end of October. So, the time is now to start planning to obtain the flu vaccine for you and your family.
The evidence regarding vaccines may appear conflicting at times, but here are some facts to help confirm that vaccination is the right path in almost all circumstances:
- Analytics and Worldwide Trends
The CDC and others use very sophisticated analysis of worldwide trends regarding strains of influenza that are currently being detected and create a new vaccine every year; thus, in most years, the vaccine is highly effective.
- It May Lessen the Intensity
Data suggest that even if someone becomes ill after vaccination, the illness may be milder. The flu vaccination has also been shown to reduce flu illness, doctor’s office visits, flu-related hospitalizations, and missed work/ school due to the flu.
- It’s Serious
Many individuals state they have the “flu,” when in fact they have the common cold. Influenza is a serious illness of 10 to 14 days in duration, with most individuals suffering high fever, body ache, and general malaise that forces one to bedrest for 5 to 7 days. Thus, don’t be fooled into thinking that the vaccine is preventing a few days of the sniffles — it is preventing a serious, and in some cases, life-threatening, illness. There were over 4,000 deaths per week in the United States attributed to influenza at the height of the 2017/18 flu season.
Along with vaccination, there are things you can do to help stop the spread of the flu. Things like washing your hands often with soap and water, covering your nose and mouth when you cough and/or sneeze, and if you become sick avoiding contact with others
In all cases, please consult your primary care physician if you have individual questions regarding whether the influenza vaccine is right for you