A 2017 study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that flu vaccination significantly reduces a child’s risk of dying from influenza. According to the study, flu vaccine reduced the risk of flu-associated death by 51% among children with high-risk medical conditions, and 65% among healthy children. Both the CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that all children older than 6 months get annual flu vaccinations.
Do you need a flu shot every year?
Each year researchers determine the influenza viruses that are most likely to be present during the upcoming season. Flu vaccines are designed to protect against those viruses, and flu vaccines change each year. This means that last year’s flu shot won’t be effective in preventing the flu this season. Recommendations for flu vaccination can also vary from season to season.
What can you do to prevent the flu?
There are a number of things that you can do to help protect yourself and others from getting the flu.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water.
- Cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing with your arm rather than your hands.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Steer clear of confined spaces with lots of people.
- Stay away from those who are sick, and stay at home if you’re sick.
Of course, you can scrub between your fingers and refuse hand shakes all day long and still get the flu. Practicing good health habits is a good start, but the flu vaccine is the most effective way to protect against the flu.
Flu vaccination is the best way to protect against the flu
Being cautious and practicing good health habits can only do so much to prevent the flu. Getting an annual flu vaccination, however, is proven to help reduce flu illnesses. When more people get vaccinated, more people are protected from the flu. Flu vaccination helps prevent flu illness, visits to the doctor or hospital, and is the best way to help protect yourself and others from influenza.
MANA offers the flu vaccine at 13 different locations across Northwest Arkansas. The vaccine takes two weeks from the time the shot is given, before it is effective, so get your flu vaccination today!