Here comes flu season – is your family ready? Although flu season peaks from December through March, now is the time to prepare by taking preventative measures that will keep your family – and those around you – healthy this year.
The most certain way to protect yourself against the flu is the flu shot. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends a yearly flu vaccine for anyone six months of age or older.
Of course, many of us come up with excuses to avoid getting the shot – no time, a fear of needles, or “you never get sick.” Well, toss those excuses aside because there are plenty of good reasons for making the flu shot a priority this year.
Studies show that the flu vaccination works! For most, it effectively prevents contraction of the flu. Save your sick days for another time!
Some people do still get the flu despite having had the flu shot; however, the vaccination often makes the illness milder and more manageable.
When you get the vaccine, you are not only protecting yourself from the flu, you are also protecting those around you, especially those who may be more vulnerable to the flu, such as the very young, the very old, and those whose immune systems are already compromised by certain medical conditions (many of whom cannot receive the vaccination themselves). For these individuals, the flu can be more serious or even deadly. According to the CDC, during recent flu seasons, between 80- 90% of flu-related deaths occurred in people 65 years and older.
Flu vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of hospitalization from more serious flu outcomes. The CDC reports that the flu vaccine reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit admission by a whopping 74% during flu season. Another study showed that the flu vaccination resulted in a 71% reduction in flu-related hospitalizations among adults, and even greater among older adults.
The flu shot helps protect women during pregnancy, and it even protects their babies for up to six months after they are born.
If you don’t get your flu shot due to cost, we can help. In fact, we can also help alleviate the cost of flu-related medications. There are many ways to save; for example:
Reach out to your county’s public health department, many of which have lists of immunization clinics offering free or low-cost flu vaccinations.
Use the FamilyWize Drug Price Look Up Tool to comparison shop for drugs prescribed to treat the flu. Simply enter the name of the drug and your zip code and the tool gives you a list of pharmacies nearby that carry the drug and the cost at each store.