According to studies, seasonal flu shots are intended to protect against the influenza viruses expected to be most prevalent in the upcoming seasons. In the United States, all flu vaccinations are “quadrivalent,” implying they protect against four different flu viruses: influenza A(H1N1), influenza A(H3N2), and two influenza B viruses. The seasonal flu shot is a widespread practice before the flu season, from September to October across the globe. The ideal time for the seasonal flu shot is autumn, although you may get it until late April. Seasonal vaccination must be getting by older people above 50 and children below eight years because they are at high risk of infection.
Availability of seasonal flu shots
Seasonal flu shots are widely accessible in doctor’s offices, primary care and urgent care clinics, health departments, college health centers, pharmacies, community health clinics, and via employer-sponsored programs. You can have a seasonal flu shot from these locations even if you don’t have a primary care physician or doctor.
People who are at a high risk of getting the seasonal flu
The following individuals are at high risk of getting the flu, so they should get seasonal flu shots as soon as possible:
- Pregnant Women
- Elderly People above 50
- Children below 5
Why is it essential to get seasonal flu shots?
Flu germs are highly infectious and may be spread simply by coming into touch with infected people through coughing or sneezing. You may combat the flu by washing your hands frequently with soap and water and avoiding touching your mouth, nose, and eyes with unwashed hands, in addition to receiving seasonal flu shots. The seasonal flu shot is a safe and effective method to avoid getting the flu. The flu shot causes your body to produce antibodies against various influenza virus strains. These antibodies aid in protecting the body against flu, resulting in fewer cases of infected cases.
Benefits of the seasonal flu shots
For many people, the seasonal flu is a mild illness. But sometimes, the flu can be severe or even deadly. The flu:
- Is linked to severe infections like pneumonia
- Can make existing health problems worse (for example, long-term heart or lung disease)
- Can lead to hospitalization or death
So, the seasonal flu vaccination is updated every year to keep up with the three virus strains that research predicts will be the most prevalent throughout the next flu season. To remain safe, you must receive seasonal flu shots every year. There are the following benefits to getting the seasonal flu shot each year:
i. Flu Prevention
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the flu shot is the most beneficial method to avoid becoming ill with the flu infection.
ii. Feeling less sick
Even if you’ve been vaccinated, you may still catch the flu. If you have received the seasonal flu shot, then your signs will be milder if even you become ill with it.
iii. Lower risks of hospitalizations or complications for certain people
The flu vaccine has been proven to reduce flu-related complications or hospitalizations for people at high risk of getting the flu. They are as follows:
- Pregnant women
- Older people
- Individuals with long-term illnesses, including diabetes, chronic pulmonary disease, and heart disease
iv. Community-based protection
When you protect yourself against the flu with a seasonal flu shot, you’re also protecting others who can’t be vaccinated. Those who are too young to be vaccinated are included. This is known as herd immunity, and it is essential.
The CDC advises having the seasonal flu shot by the end of October, but you may still be vaccinated later in the season. Seasonal flu shots are available in many pharmacies, doctor’s offices, and urgent clinics. When giving a flu vaccination to children aged six months to 8 years for the first time, they may need two doses spaced at least four weeks apart. They may then get a single flu vaccination dosage per year. Vaccination is essential for individuals at a high risk of flu complications, such as pregnant women, children, and the elderly. There are many benefits of getting a flu shot as It prevents getting the flu, and if someone gets sick, the symptoms are mild, resulting in fewer chances of hospitalization. In addition, it prevents the community from getting this disease from human-to-human transmission.