Come Pay Your Due Against The Flu!
Did you know that the single best way to avoid getting the flu is to get a yearly flu shot? During the 2017-2018 flu season, the flu vaccine prevented 7.1 million cases of the flu, 109,000 hospitalizations, and 8000 deaths.1 That’s with only about 42% of adults getting a flu shot! Flu season typically begins around October and can extend well into May but these are just the most common months. You can get the flu any time of year so it is always recommended to get your flu shot early!
For a healthy adult the flu may not seem to be that big of a deal but, the flu can greatly increase the chance of heart attack or stroke. Adults over 35 with a confirmed case of the flu are 6-10 times more likely to suffer their first heart attack and are about 8 times more likely to suffer their first stroke.2,3 Those of high risk stand to benefit from flu vaccines as well. People with type II diabetes who also receive yearly flu vaccines are 30% less likely to have a stroke, 22% less likely to suffer from heart failure, and 19% less likely to have a heart attack.4
Getting a flu vaccine not only helps the recipient but everyone around the recipient. This is especially important for infants under 6 months and those with conditions preventing them from getting a flu shot. Those unable to be vaccinated depend on the rest of us for protection from the flu. The more flu shots that are received, the less flu will spread, and the safer we’ll all be. So head over to your local Price Chopper or Market 32 pharmacy and get your shot!
- Can the flu shot give me the flu?
- No! Flu vaccines are made using dead viruses or pieces of the virus’s genetic code that don’t have the capability to cause illness. It takes 1-2 weeks for your body to develop immunity after receiving the flu shot, another good reason to get your shot early this season!
- Why do I need to get a flu shot every year?
- Each year the flu virus changes, undergoing mutations that can make the previous vaccinations ineffective. Getting a flu shot yearly ensures you have immunity from the latest strain of the flu.
- Is getting a flu shot the only thing I can do to prevent catching the flu?
- While the flu vaccine is the single best way to avoid the flu, there are many things you can do to protect yourself. Frequent hand washing and avoiding those with the flu can go a long way to prevent it from spreading. If you do fall ill it is important to stay home, cover all coughs/sneezes, and limit contact with those around you.
Written by Eugene Kupiec Pharmacy Intern
- “2017-2018 Estimated Influenza Illnesses, Medical Visits, and Hospitalizations Averted by Vaccination in the United States | CDC.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed August 14, 2019. https://www.cdc.gov/flu/vaccines-work/averted-estimates.htm.
- Warren-Gash C, Blackburn R, Whitaker H, McMenamin J, Hayward AC. Laboratory-confirmed respiratory infections as triggers for acute myocardial infarction and stroke: a self-controlled case series analysis of national linked datasets from Scotland. Eur Respir J. 2018;51. doi:10.1183/13993003.01794-2017
- Kwong JC, Schwartz KL, Campitelli MA, et al. Acute myocardial infarction after laboratory-confirmed influenza infection. N Engl J Med. 2018;378:345-353.
- Vamos EP, Pape UJ, Curcin V, et al. Effectiveness of the influenza vaccine in preventing admission to hospital and death in people with type 2 diabetes. CMAJ. 2016;188:E342-E351.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases (NCIRD) [Internet]. 2013 [cited 2013 July 31]. Available from: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/season/flu-season-2013-2014.htm
- CDC. Prevention and control of seasonal influenza with vaccines. Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices–United States, 2013–2014. MMWR 2013;62(No. RR-07).
- Carlos A. DiazGranados, Andrew J. Dunning, Murray Kimmel, Daniel Kirby, John Treanor, Avi Collins, Richard Pollak, Janet Christoff, John Earl, Victoria Landolfi, Earl Martin, Sanjay Gurunathan, Richard Nathan, David P. Greenberg, Nadia G. Tornieporth, Michael D. Decker, H. Keipp Talbot. Efficacy of High-Dose versus Standard-Dose Influenza Vaccine in Older Adults. New England Journal of Medicine, 2014; 371 (7): 635 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMoa1315727