Flu season is coming up, and many will be getting flu shots. Cases of the flu will peak from December to March, circulating at their highest levels throughout the United States.
Nationwide, an estimated 3,000 to 49,000 people die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized each year because of the flu.
There are many benefits that a flu shot can give.
To begin, for most, it is free! Insurance covers a flu shot free of charge from a doctor’s office, local health department, etc. Even if a person doesn’t have insurance, it’s still pretty cheap. Vaccines are available at large companies such as Walmart and CVS. Costco has the cheapest available version for $15 per shot.
Another reason why people get flu shots is that an infected person can still spread the flu even if they don’t feel sick. Some people who have the flu will have minor symptoms or none at all.
Even so, it can still be passed on to someone who may experience much more severe or life-threatening symptoms. Many people are at high risk of getting the flu, including young children, people over 65, and those with pre-existing conditions like heart disease and asthma. Even if someone gets the flu after the shot, the vaccine will likely make the illness milder.
“I think that flu shots are very important, especially since there are many people who have it worse than others,” said seventh-grader Hailey Penn.
While vaccination is the best protection, there are still many basic infection control manners that can also reduce the spread. These measures include covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing, staying home when sick, and washing hands frequently.
It is important to be safe and take many precautions when the flu starts coming around!