Get the flu shot or not? Many individuals are asking themselves this question right now as it is considered late in the season in the minds of some. The simple answer is yes… now; let’s take a closer look at why?
Why Should you Get the Flu Shot?
Even though the flu season is in full swing, you should get the its shot if it is available within your geographic area. As long as the virus is still circulating amongst the public, you will be well served to protect yourself against contracting the flu. According to a recent report released by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, this year’s shot has resulted in 60% fewer visits to the doctor due to flu related symptoms.
Is it possible to contract the flu even though you have been vaccinated?
Yes, it is still possible to contract the flu even though you have received the vaccination.
While the vaccine released each year is designed to cover the most likely strains of the flu virus, it doesn’t cover them all. Additionally, it takes approximately 14 days following the vaccination for your body to build up immunity to the virus. So, if you come into contact with the virus during this time frame or had already come into contact with it before you received your vaccination, you may develop flu like symptoms.
As of January 2013, the CDC found that 91% of the influenza strains resembled those that were included in this year’s virus. This percentage is one of the factors utilized by the CDC to ascertain the vaccine’s effectiveness from year to year. What this means in laymen’s terms is that the virus does provide a wide net of protection against contracting the virus. Even though the vaccination may not provide 100% protection against all strains of the flu virus, it does provide protection against primary known strains, including H1N1.
Vaccination is your first line of defense against contracting the flu virus this season. In addition to taking this step, be sure that you are practicing strong personal hygiene habits (frequent hand washing, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze and avoiding venturing into the general public in the event that you begin to feel ill). Taking these proactive steps will reduce your overall likelihood of contracting the its virus during this, or any other season. Visit flu.ca to find out who should get the Vaccination this year.