Wednesday, June 03, 2020

What Do You Mean You Haven’t Gotten Your Flu Shot Yet?!

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It’s flu season again and that means it’s time for everyone to get their annual flu shot. No, the shot you got last year isn’t still effective because, according to an article on The Huffington Post’s website in the Health News section titled, “Why You Should Get The Flu Shot This Year, And Every Year,” influenza is a mutating virus and scientists hypothesize which strains will be the strongest for each flu season. That means the previous flu shot you received no longer works and, while you think that catching the flu won’t happen to you, in all probability it will.

Because scientists make an educated guess (based on research, but still basically a guess) on which flu strains will be the most widespread, that means you could receive the flu vaccine and still get sick with the flu. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get the flu shot since it’s better to be protected than do nothing at all. Plus, many health plans cover the entire cost of the flu shot as preventive care. Besides, being sick with the flu is miserable, and then you have to miss work (which might be unpaid), you have to buy medicine to alleviate the symptoms, and worst of all, you could make other people sick.

Fortunately, scientists are aware of this limitation of the flu shot and are working on creating a universal flu vaccine that would protect us against multiple strains of the virus for a longer period of time. A story published on Time magazine’s website titled, “Scientists Unveil 'Promising First Step' to Universal Flu Vaccine,” provides the details on this breakthrough, but cautions that it’s not a universal vaccine that protects against all strains, but it can lay the groundwork for one that eventually will.

The current flu shot is one of the best forms of protection against getting the virus. Unless you are allergic to it, then don’t delay, get vaccinated today!

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