SpotRx believes that anyone who is medically able to get a flu shot should receive one as soon as they are available. But we’d like to explain to you the importance of this yearly vaccine, especially as vaccines occupy the spotlight during COVID-19. Here are the benefits of receiving your flu shot:
1. It can prevent becoming sick with the flu. We’re not just being obvious here; the Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated that during the 2019-2020 flu season, the vaccine “prevented an estimated 7.5 million influenza illnesses, 3.7 million influenza-associated medical visits, 104,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations, and 6,300 influenza-associated deaths.”
Let’s look at the human level of those statistics: those are 7.5 million people whose lives weren’t affected by the flu. 3.7 million people who didn’t have to visit an ER or doctor’s office and rack up large medical bills. 104,000 people who didn’t have to stay in the hospital with the flu and again, rack up the hospital bills and suffering. Most importantly, that’s 6,300 people who are still alive today, as well as the countless friends and family of those people who get to enjoy their continued presence.
2. A flu vaccine can protect those with chronic health conditions. If you suffer from health conditions that already make your life difficult, then becoming sick with the flu could become the straw that breaks the camel’s back. That could mean hospitalization or even death.
A 2018 study analyzed adults hospitalized with the flu and found that vaccinated patients were actually “59 percent less likely to be admitted to the ICU than those who had not been vaccinated.”
If you suffer from diabetes, COPD, or other chronic health conditions, a vaccine helps make sure that the flu is one condition you won’t have to worry about this year.
3. Flu vaccines can save a child’s life. A child’s life is precious, which is why a flu shot is necessary for children. A 2017 study from the CDC analyzed four flu seasons (2010-2014) and found that “flu vaccination reduced the risk of flu-associated death by half (51 percent) among children with underlying high-risk medical conditions and by nearly two-thirds (65 percent) among healthy children.”
4. If you get the flu, a vaccine can make your illness less severe. A flu shot is not a guarantee that you’ll be spared from influenza, but it can lead to a less severe bodily reaction to the flu if you still contract it.
5. Getting vaccinated can protect those around you. Sometimes, getting a flu shot is more about protecting those around you. Receiving a vaccine can help ensure that you don’t contract influenza and spread it to high-risk populations, such as children, the elderly, and those with comorbidities.
For more information on obtaining a flu vaccine, and if you have any questions you’d like answered, visit www.spotrx.com.
Written by: Robert Squire, pharmacist at SpotRx Pharmacy