No one likes the needle, but this shot helps your immune system protect against a potentially serious virus. Influenza is not just a bad cold. It can lead to pneumonia and hospitalization, and kills several thousand people every year. Most vulnerable are young children, the elderly and those with chronic diseases. You can catch the flu anywhere and spread it to others before symptoms appear. Getting a flu shot protects loved ones as well as yourself.
Despite what many people think, the vaccine cannot give you the flu. It’s a myth. A few people get a mild fever from the vaccine but once it goes away, the body is left with antibodies that know how to fight the flu. Flu vaccine changes every year because flu viruses change. That’s why everyone over age 6 months old should get a shot every fall. What else can you do? Wash your hands regularly, cover your coughs and sneeze, and stay home when you are sick.