We’ve all the heard the excuses people use to avoid getting a flu shot – I can’t handle needles, I don’t have the time, it’ll make me sick, I can’t pay for it, it doesn’t work – but these have been proven false, and there are many more reasons to get a flu shot than not. Here are just a few of the top reasons to bite the bullet, and why you should ignore the excuses:
- Protect those around you. By keeping yourself healthy, you decrease the chance that you could spread the flu to those around you, including your family, friends and co-workers. Plus, you can spread the flu even if you don’t show any major symptoms. This is especially important if you frequently spend time with babies or anyone else who cannot be vaccinated for health reasons. They depend on you to stay healthy.
- Save your days off. Where would you rather spend your hard-earned paid time off? On a sandy beach with a fruity drink in your hand, or in bed…miserable…sipping tea and soup while trying to locate the remote under 18 blankets? In all seriousness, lost productivity when people are sick with the flu costs millions each year. And your co-workers definitely don’t want you coming in while sick and sharing your germs – they’d much rather you share the workload and help keep the rest of the team healthy.
- It’s convenient. You can get a flu shot almost anywhere these days – your doctor’s office, the local pharmacy, and even at work if your employer offers vaccines on-site, and it only takes a few minutes at most. Plus, flu shots are covered as a preventive service under the Affordable Care Act, so you should be able to get vaccinated at little to no cost to you. It’s a no-brainer!
- It’s updated each year. Flu strains evolve and change each year, and the World Health Organization works with the Centers for Disease Control and other experts around the world to help ensure that the vaccines produced are a match to fight the current viruses. So even if you haven’t had the flu before or got a shot last year, you definitely want to make sure to get vaccinated this fall to protect yourself.
- It won’t make you sick. A common myth is that the flu shot makes people sick, but this has been shown to be untrue. The vaccine can take some time to build up your immunity, so if you were exposed to a cold or flu virus before you got the shot, you could be experiencing that illness, unrelated to the vaccine. And some people do develop minor side effects from the vaccine, such as soreness at the site of the shot or a low-grade fever. However, this is nothing compared to the havoc the actual flu could wreak on you, so it’s definitely worth the trade-off.
Getting a flu shot is a relatively simple way to protect yourself and those around you from what can be a very serious illness. Talk to your doctor to find out more and find out the best way to get vaccinated against the flu.
Check out any of these resources for more information about the flu vaccine:
If you’re a Health Advocate member, contact your Personal Health Advocate to schedule an appointment with your doctor or find a location near you to get your flu shot.