Those most likely to be hit hard by the epidemic were young people who were otherwise healthy.
That’s more than an epidemic; it’s a pandemic. Nobody ever wants to see another one.
At the beginning of every flu season, researchers don’t know for sure how serious the disease will be for that year. They evaluate the strains of the flu they think are most dangerous and most likely to spread from October through May. They don’t know what will happen for sure, but they do their best to make an educated guess. They develop a vaccine for three or four different strains, and that is what gets distributed.
Some people are more vulnerable to flu than others. They need to have as much protection as possible from getting the flu because it is likely to be particularly hard on them. These include anyone in the following group or groups:The flu shot wasn’t effective. Vaccinations are not a guarantee that you won’t get sick; they just improve your odds of avoiding it.
It won’t matter if I don’t get a flu shot.
The CDC estimates that vaccinations prevented 6.6 million illnesses associated with the flu during the 2012 and 2013 flu season. They also think 79,000 people did not have to be hospitalized because of their vaccinations. Even though you could still get the flu after a vaccination, that vaccination is your best option for avoiding the flu or flu-related illnesses.
I never get sick, so I don’t need a shot.
Flu vaccinations aren’t just about you, they are about the people you see every day. You might have a strong immune system, but what about your family, friends, and fellow employees? If you know anyone who is very old, very young, or who has a weak immune system, then you should get vaccinated for their sake as much as for your own.
I’m young and healthy. Why should I bother?
The people who died during the 1918 flu pandemic were young and healthy. Even people like you can get extremely sick when they get the flu. It’s better not to get sick in the first place.
There are side effects.
Side effects are usually mild. If you have some, tell your physician the next time you get a vaccination; the physician might be able to give you a different type of vaccination that won’t cause you any problems. Remember, too, that although the flu is usually mild, it isn’t always. Your side effects are probably much less serious than an actual case of the flu would be.
Why should I get one now when I’ve never had one before?
Vaccinations are most effective when most people get them, because that makes it harder for the flu to spread.
Is it too late to get the flu vaccine for this year?
That depends on when you are thinking of getting one, but the peak of the flu season is usually in January or February. Getting one in the fall is best, but there’s nothing wrong with getting vaccinated even in December.