Now is a good time to get a flu shot

flu shot being administered photo James_Gathany CDC

So, now is a good time to get a flu shot.

Maybe seem a little early? It's not, really. And even if it was, getting a flu shot early is a good thing. You can help yourself and others by getting the jab, which needs to be repeated each year because the mix of flu viruses in circulation changes each season.

Here's a website that can point you toward where to get the shot. Many pharmacies now offer the flu vaccine right in the store -- they have little waiting areas and everything -- and you often don't even need an appointment, but call ahead to make sure. And the flu shot is free under many health plans (be sure to bring your health plan card).

Getting the vaccine doesn't offer full protection, but if you do end up getting the flu it can lessen the severity. And this part is important: getting the shot can be beneficial not just to you, but also the people around you because it makes it less likely you'll spread the virus. Example: There have been multiple studies indicating that vaccinating young people -- kids, especially -- ends up being a good way of protecting seniors from the flu.

photo: James Gathany / CDC / Public Health Image Library


Never had a flu shot, never will

You should also mention the different type of vaccines.
There is Trivalent and Quadrivalent vaccines. Simply put, one covers 3 Virus strains, while the the other covers 4.
Fairly sure most health care providers will pay for either. Just a matter of asking, and a simple check with the place you are getting it has the type you wish to choose.

After starting work in an office environment I got the flu 4 years in a row from 2007-2011. Had never received a flu shot in my life. The following fall I got my first flu shot and have received one every year since. I haven't had anything worse than a mild cold since.

Once you've had the flu, you never want to get it again.

I had it 10 years ago. It took me from a healthy 30 something to an imobile almost invalid.

Ever since then I've gotten a flu shot, which so far has worked.

Let's hope that those of you who selfishly refuse to contribute to herd immunity never have a loved one with a compromised immune system. Passing the flu onto someone going through cancer treatment or to a premature baby (I am the mother of two of those), for example, could easily hospitalize and/or kill. But sure, skip the (easy, painless, covered-by-insurance) jab.

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