Published on October 09, 2017

Don’t risk the flu—get your shot

You want to stay healthy and feel good. And one way to do that, especially this time of year, is to get a flu shot.

Some people develop serious complications from the flu, like pneumonia, and need to be hospitalized.

Older adults are at especially high risk for flu complications, such as death. So are those with chronic health problems, like diabetes or heart or lung disease.

Those are some key reasons why nearly everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year.

“Getting an annual flu shot is the best way to help avoid getting very sick and infecting others who are more vulnerable,” says Donna Raziano, MD, Chief Medical Officer of St. Mary Home Care.

Why do you need a new shot each year? Because the viruses it prevents can change from one flu season to the next. Also, the immunity depends on the strains of active influenza virus that year.

It’s true that sometimes you can still get the flu even if you’ve had a flu shot. “But chances are, you won’t get as sick if you’ve been vaccinated,” says Dr. Raziano. “That’s why the vaccine is still your best defense against the flu.”

Flu season can last for many months. So it’s not too late to get a flu shot if you haven’t done so yet. Talk to your doctor.