Getting your flu shot is like putting on armor to battle the flu bug. It also makes you a hero to others, because a flu shot protects them, too!
Who should get a flu shot
Many people do not realize that the flu – short for "influenza virus" – is a dangerous disease that kills thousands of people each year. Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine annually. It's especially important that people get vaccinated who are at high risk of having serious flu–related complications, including:
- Women who are pregnant
- Children under 5 years old
- People 50 years old and older
- People with weakened or malfunctioning immune systems
- People with certain chronic medical conditions, such as:
- Chronic lung disease (e.g., asthma, cystic fibrosis, and COPD)
- Diabetes (both types 1 and 2)
- Heart disease
- Some neurologic conditions
- And some other chronic health conditions
- People who live in long-term care facilities, such as nursing homes
Flu-prone work environments
It is equally important to be vaccinated if you live with or care for others who are at high risk for developing flu-related complications. This includes:
- Healthcare workers
- Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
- Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age (these children are too young to be vaccinated)
When to get the flu shot
The current flu shot offers protection from the three most common strains of the influenza virus expected during this year's flu season. The earlier you get your flu shot, the more time you give your body to build up defenses against these strains.
Where to get the flu shot
So be a hero, and stop by your FOH Health Center, healthcare provider, or community center for a flu shot. With one quick visit, you can shield yourself and your loved ones from a serious disease.