Up Your Odds Against Getting the Flu This Season

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every year, as many as 49,000 people in the United States die from influenza or related complications, according to the CDC, with the vast majority of victims being 65 years and older. Flu season in the United States typically begins in October and can last as late as May. During this time, viruses that cause the flu circulate through the population. The CDC recommends the flu shot as the best protection against contracting influenza. A person who receives the flu vaccine is 60 percent less likely to need treatment by a healthcare provider. Getting the vaccine has been shown to offer substantial benefits, including reducing illness, antibiotic use, time lost from work, hospitalizations and deaths.  People should get the flu shot as soon as it becomes available in their community, usually in late September or early October. Receiving the vaccine during this timeframe will protect you for the duration of the flu season and spare you from long waits and possible shortages as flu season unfolds. There are two types of vaccines: The nasal-spray flu vaccine is made with weakened flu viruses administered through the nostrils. It is approved for use in healthy people ages 2 through 49 years who are not pregnant. The flu shot is an inactivated vaccine that is given with a needle, usually in the arm. The flu shot is approved for use in people older than 6 months, including healthy people and people with chronic medical conditions. There are three different flu shots  available: A regular flu shot approved for people ages 6 months and older A high-dose flu shot approved for people 65 and older, and an intradermal flu shot approved for people 18 to 64 years of age.  People who have a history of severe reaction to flu shots, severe allergies to chicken eggs or are currently suffering from a moderate-to-severe illness should consult their doctor before getting the vaccine.  
Written by Jamie Ianigro
Sales Executive
Shepherd Insurance & Financial Services
(317) 846-5554 or shepherdins.com