The flu. It’s a yearly ordeal we all must worry about, but you can relieve some of those worries if you get yourself vaccinated.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each year an average of five to 20 percent of the U.S. population get the flu, causing thousands to be hospitalized and thousands to die from flu-related illnessess.
A 2012-2013 report from the CDC stated estimated 45 percent of the U.S. population was vaccinated, preventing 6.6 million flu-related illnesses, 3.2 million flu-related medical visits and 79,000 hospitalizations.
While getting a flu shot isn’t a guarantee you won’t get the flu, it will certainly lessen the severity of the symptoms. It is recommended by the CDC that pregnant women in any trimester get vaccinated.
Flu season normally peaks between January and March and can last until May. The CDC recommends to get vaccinated by the end of October. It takes around two weeks for the antibodies that protect against the flu to circulate, so plan accordingly.
However, remember that it is never too late to get vaccinated, so long as the flu is still circulating.
It is recommended that you get the vaccine in shot form over the nasal spray as its effectiveness has varied through different studies over the years.
It is important for everyone to get vaccinated not just for themselves, but for those in society that cannot. If more adults were to get vaccinated it would create a ‘herd immunity’, meaning fewer people would spread the flu to those who cannot receive vaccinations like babies under six months, the elderly and the immuno-compromised.
There are two main types of flu shots: a trivalent, which protects against three strands of the flu and a quadrivalent, which protects against four different strands.
Here are some places you can get vaccinated this year:
- The Student Health Center – Free during 2-day clinic
- CVS – $41 for quadrivalent.
- Walgreen’s – $31.99 for trivalent. $39.99 for quadrivalent.
- Wal-Mart – $27.88 for trivalent. $39.99 for quadrivalent.
- Kroger – $30 for trivalent. $40 for quadrivalent.
- Target – $39.99 for quadrivalent.
Photo by Lauren Swaim