Importance of Getting the Yearly Flu Vaccine
The flu season is a dreaded time when millions of people get sick. According to reports by the CDC, there were over 9 million flu-related illnesses in 2022. Of those cases, 5,000 were fatal. These statistics alone are likely enough to convey the importance of the flu vaccine.
But how does the flu vaccine protect you? In today’s article, we will take a closer look at the significance of vaccination. Plus, we will explain how you can use safe telemedicine and internet pharmacies to lower your risk for getting the flu. So keep reading to learn why getting the flu vaccine yearly is important.
What is the Flu?
The flu is a contagious respiratory disorder caused by the influenza virus. Symptoms associated with this condition include:
- Sore throat
- Muscle aches
- Runny or stuffy nose
These symptoms can be mild or severe from one person to another. The symptoms can even be life-threatening for high-risk patients, like seniors, young children, and those with chronic conditions. This is where the importance of the flu vaccine becomes clear.
Benefits of the Flu Vaccine
The flu vaccine has various benefits for the body, including:
- Reducing your chances of getting the flu
- Reducing the severity of your symptoms if you get the flu
- Reducing the risk of cardiac events in people with cardiovascular diseases
- Reducing the risk of flu-related hospitalization in more vulnerable patients
- Protecting at-risk groups such as pregnant women and chronically ill people by lowering the number of cases and exposure
How Does the Flu Vaccine Protect You?
The flu vaccine works by developing antibodies in your body. The flu vaccine’s importance is that it uses influenza antigens to prompt your body to produce antibodies against it.
Once your immune system produces these antibodies, it will recognize the influenza virus if it ever enters your body. Then, it will create more flu antibodies to fight the infection. This protection is why getting the flu vaccine yearly is important. Most vaccines protect against four different influenza viruses, including:
- Flu A (H1N1) virus
- Flu A (H3N2) virus
- Flu B/Victoria lineage virus
- Flu B/Yamagata lineage virus
Some high-dose vaccines are designed for people over 65 to give them stronger immunity against the influenza virus.
Who Needs an Annual Flu Shot?
When you understand the flu vaccine’s importance, you will realize that everyone needs to get it every year. According to CDC’s recommendations, everyone over six months old must receive an annual flu shot. Some children between 6 and 8 months old might even need to receive two doses within two months.
Vaccination against influenza is especially vital for these higher-risk groups:
- Adults over 50
- Children under 2
- Nursing home residents
- Those with weaker immune systems
- Those with a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher
- Pregnant women or those planning to get pregnant during the flu season
- Those with chronic illnesses like asthma, cardiovascular diseases, and diabetes
You can contact your primary healthcare provider if you’re still unsure about the importance of the flu vaccine for your health. They can help you understand how the flu vaccine protects you and when you should get it.
Why Do I Need a Flu Shot Every Year?
Some vaccines will protect your body against pathogens for several years. Some will keep you safe for an entire lifetime. However, the case is different with the flu vaccine. The influenza virus changes rapidly, and you may not face the same virus for two consecutive years. These mutations mean your body must fight a slightly different virus every year.
It’s important to understand the importance of new flu vaccines as scientists develop new formulations each year. This formulation will help protect you from the virus variants spreading around that year. That is why getting the flu vaccine yearly is important.
What Are My Flu Vaccine Delivery Options?
You can receive your annual flu protection as a shot or a nasal spray. A flu shot is an injection given through the arm. Adults under 65 can get their vaccines with a jet injector that uses high pressure to deliver the fluid to the body whereas infants under two years of age can get the nasal spray vaccine.
How does the nasal spray flu vaccine protect you? It’s similar to a flu shot, but instead of an arm injection, the vaccine will be sprayed into your nose. Considering the importance of the flu vaccine, you can opt for any of these two delivery options as both are available through pharmacy services.
Can the Flu Vaccine Give Me the Flu?
No. A flu shot won’t give you the flu, but you may experience flu-like symptoms. The reasons for developing these symptoms may be:
- Reaction to the Vaccine: You may experience fever and muscle aches as your body prepares to recognize the viral antigens.
- The Two-week Window: It takes two weeks for the vaccine to provide the necessary immunity against influenza. Meanwhile, if you’re exposed to the virus, you might catch the flu. This window highlights the importance of getting the flu vaccine early in the season.
- Mismatched Viruses: The vaccine may not be formulated for the virus spreading around that year.
- Other Diseases: You may be sick with the common cold and mistake its symptoms for the flu.
Help Fight the Annual Flu with Inhouse Pharmacy
Now that you know how the flu vaccine protects you and why getting the flu vaccine yearly is important, you can give your body the immunity it needs to stay healthy.
While Inhouse Pharmacy does not offer flu shots, we do offer medications that can help reduce flu symptoms if you end up catching it in the upcoming flu season. As one of the oldest and most reputable online pharmacies with hundreds of happy customers, we understand the importance of the flu vaccine. We work with trusted pharmaceutical manufacturers to provide the highest-quality medications to help customers experiencing flu symptoms. Contact us today to talk to our responsive customer service and receive the quality care you deserve at an affordable price.