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These 2022-2023 flu season numbers show that we can’t let our guard down:
Getting a flu shot can help keep you from being a statistic. The CDC says most people who are six months old or older should get a yearly flu shot. Flu shots are especially important for children. A 2022 study showed that flu vaccination reduced children’s risk of getting severe, life-threatening flu by 75 percent.
For the best protection, the CDC says you should get your flu shot in September or October. It takes about two weeks for the shot to start protecting you. That’s why you shouldn’t wait until the flu season is raging to get your shot.
There are many reasons that getting a flu shot is a good idea. If you’re not vaccinated, you can get the flu from someone who doesn’t know they have it yet. You could also spread it before you know you have it.
In some cases, the flu can result in serious complications. Sinus and ear infections are moderate complications. But it can also have severe complications like pneumonia and inflammation of the heart, brain or muscle tissue.
Even an average case of the flu means weeks of fever, severe headaches, and muscle aches and pains. Avoiding that makes the flu shot worth your time. Another benefit: for those who do get sick, the vaccine lessens the severity of the symptoms.
Your decision to get a flu shot will also help protect other members of your community. That includes older people, children and pregnant women. It also includes people of all ages who have health problems like asthma or diabetes. They’re all among those who have the highest risk of getting serious, even life-threatening, complications if they get the flu.
Get your flu shot. It’s worth it
It is possible to have COVID-19 and flu at the same time. To help protect yourself, get the recommended flu and COVID-19 vaccines.
The federal COVID-19 public health emergency ended in May, but the coronavirus is still lurking. As a result, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has updated its COVID-19 vaccine recommendations. It suggests:
The number of COIVD-19 vaccine doses depend on age, along with the number and type of prior COVID-19 vaccine doses.
Originally published 7/27/2020; Revised 2022, 2023
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