The Centers for Disease Control recommends getting a seasonal influenza vaccine to help prevent getting the most prominent strains of the flu this year. This year’s vaccinations will protect patients against the H1N1 and two other seasonal types of influenza. Many people worry about getting a flu shot every year as dangerous to their health because of other substances found in the vaccine. Here’s a look at the reasons for getting a seasonal flu shot.
In February of 2010, a panel of CDC experts voted on the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) voted to expand annual universal influenza vaccinations. The vote basically said that everyone older than six months should get a flu shot in the United States. The previous recommendation focused on children and those with high risk factors for developing the disease.
The vote was taken in response to last year’s H1N1 swine flu epidemic that spread worldwide and was noted as killing people outside the normal risk group for flu patients including pregnant women. Other new factors discussed regarding the 2009 H1N1 outbreak include risk factors such as obesity, postpartum women, and certain ethnic groups as being more susceptible to the flu virus.
There are many reasons to get a flu shot according to Medicare.gov. One of the most prominent is that Medicare Part B insurance will cover the cost of your flu vaccine. Influenza and a resulting complication known as pneumonia cause the deaths of 45,000 people each year and getting vaccinated is a key way to avoid getting very sick.
Getting the vaccine will also prevent the spread of the flu to others around you including your family and friends. This is especially important when you consider anyone who might have chronic health problems such as asthma.
Many people were concerned in 2009 about the viability of the swine flu vaccine as many doses were contaminated, including those developed by Baxter International. Now that companies have had a year to work on more viable vaccines they should be much safer. No scandals have been reported for the upcoming flu season.
Preservatives in a majority of influenza vaccines include thimerosal which is a form of mercury. There has been much controversy about this type of preservative used in vaccines as a cause of other maladies such as autism. The Centers for Disease Control says this substance is completely safe for use in vaccines.
Cost Concerns and Availability
Influenza shots are relatively inexpensive. Some clinics offer flu shots for a little as ten dollars per shot. More commonly drug stores offer a flu shot for around 30 to 50 dollars. Many insurance companies cover seasonal flu shots as a preventative measure.
National chain drugstores are offering influenza shots even now before flu season begins. Walgreens, Rite Aid, and CVS are all companies that can have flu shots done when the pharmacy is open and some can administer the vaccine.
Consult with your health care professional about getting your seasonal flu shot as recommended by the CDC. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be considered actual medical advice.
The Centers for Disease Control, the Medicare website, and HealthyDoctors.com provided information for this article.