Karen Saylor, MD
10 Reasons to Get a Flu Vaccine in 2020
If there was ever a year to get the flu shot, it’s this one! Consider the following top 10 reasons to get your influenza vaccination:
1. “I was vaccinated last year. Why do I need another flu shot?” The flu virus changes frequently so the strains that were covered by last year’s vaccine are not the same as this year.
2. Influenza vaccine not only reduces the risk of contracting the flu, but also reduces the severity of illness if you do become infected.
3. People with underlying health problems, pregnant women and those at extremes of age (older than 65 or younger than 5 years) are at increased risk of complications from the flu, including death.
4. The flu shot not only protects you but makes it less likely that you might transmit the infection to someone else.
5. Afraid of needles? Now there is a needle-free jet injector for use in people 18 – 64 years of age.
6. Allergic to eggs? The amount of egg protein present in the flu vaccine is so small it does not cause an allergic reaction, even in people with severe egg allergy.
7. A study in people 40 years and older found that the flu vaccine reduced the chances of having a heart attack. We believe this is because there is evidence of an association between respiratory illnesses and heart attacks in adults.
8. Over 60? More than 90% of influenza-related deaths occur in your age group.
9. Concerned about the safety of vaccines? While no vaccine is 100% safe for everyone, the risk of complications from the vaccine is much smaller than the risk of complications from the flu itself.
10. If you think getting the flu is bad, try getting the flu on top of COVID-19. Yes, it can happen – why risk it?
If you are over 65, studies have shown that the high dose vaccine will protect you better than the standard dose, including a reduction in your chances of dying from the flu or being hospitalized for flu or pneumonia. For more information abouts the flu and the flu vaccine, ask your doctor or visit www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/preventing.htm