Find out how effective is the flu shot & Why its important to get vaccinated
It may not seem like a big deal for us to get the flu. However, even under the best circumstances, it can put us out of commission for a while. Under some conditions, it can kill.
The Influenza Viruses
The influenza virus is the virus that causes the flu. It is a highly infectious disease resulting in seasonal outbreaks as the weather gets colder. There are several different types of influenza, along with subtypes within them. We usually give each type of influenza a name based on its antigenic type, original host, place of origin, strain number, and the year.
These viruses tend to mutate annually making old vaccines useless against newer strains. This problem forces us to develop new vaccines each year for the new virus strains.
High Risk Individuals
There are many factors that can put us at risk of having complications from the flu. There are many factors including our age and general health. While some people with otherwise good health can have deadly complications, our chances go up as our general health goes down.
If we are below the age of five or above the age of sixty-five, the chances of getting complications from the flu go up. One reason why older people tend to have more risk is that as we get older, we tend to get other health factors that can put us at risk.
This is the time of the year generally ranging from December to March with the annual flu viruses circulating. There is no official time when it starts and ends, but it covers the winter months. While February is the most common month for the flu to peak, the peaks can also occur in December, March, and rarely January. These months are the time of year when we are most likely to get the flu. Cold weather plays a role in this, so it makes keeping warm an important part of our arsenal against the flu.
How Effective Is The Flu Shot?
Studies show that for an adult eighteen to sixty-four years old, the average flu shot is fifty to sixty percent effective. That means that on average if we are healthy adults it cuts our chance of getting the flu about in half.
So how effective is the flu shot? The flu vaccine works by stimulating our immune system against the virus. How effective is the flu vaccine, it depends on how well the immune system is working. This situation means seasonal flu vaccines are only as good as the immune systems, but they are part of disease control and prevention.
People who have received this year’s vaccine have a reduced chance of getting the flu. The flu vaccination they receive needs to be approved by the Centers-for-Disease Control and Prevention CDC to make sure it is safe. The result is if they are healthy they will probably remain healthy.
What realistically is your risk of getting the flu? Do you have any health issues that make you more at risk for complications if you get the flu? Does your age put you at a greater risk of getting complications if you get the flu? These are all questions that we need to ask ourselves. If we answer yes to any of them, then we should get a flu shot.
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