Another flu vaccine? Absolutely. And now’s the time! Flu is a big deal, costing millions of dollars in healthcare and lost wages—and causing days or weeks of misery. Getting vaccinated is the best way for you (and others within six feet of coughs and sneezes) to stay healthy. This year, three vaccines are available at pharmacies and doctors’ offices for people ages 18 to 64: a nasal-spray, a regular flu shot, and one featuring an ultra-thin needle. Additionally, a high-dose flu shot is approved for the 65-plus set.
Each flu season is unique and unpredictable. The 2011/2012 season began in February 2012—the latest start in 24 years. So, be prepared. Get vaccinated now. Then, follow the flu with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Flu Map or the free “Fight the Flu” app from FluFACTS. When the super-contagious respiratory infection comes to your town, avoid crowds when you can. Vaccines are not 100 percent effective and the disease spreads easily wherever people congregate—in child care centers, schools, office buildings, auditoriums, and public transit systems. It takes most people two days to two weeks to recover from the flu, according to the CDC.
Older Americans are hit especially hard by the flu, accounting for 90 percent of flu-related deaths. Click here for critical information from the CDC and the National Council on Aging urging all older adults to get a flu vaccine.