Influenza is a serious viral infection that starts to circulate from October and November through about March. As the virus passes from one person to another around the world, it changes slightly. This is why you can catch influenza (Flu) every year if you do not get vaccinated for it.
Why You Need the Flu Vaccine
Influenza is potentially life-threatening infection. People who are healthy may be sick and home from work or school for up to two weeks after catching the virus. The infection can be especially dangerous to people with poorly functioning immune systems due to autoimmune diseases, chronic diseases or other health conditions such as pregnancy. By getting the flu shot, you can also protect the other people in your home. It is especially important to get vaccinated if you spend time around infants and children, the elderly or people with compromised immune systems.
How the Flu Shot Works
Flu shots work by activating the body’s immune system to recognize the virus. The body creates antibodies from the inactivated virus in the vaccine. If you are exposed to the influenza virus, your body’s antibodies will respond and attack the viruses to help prevent an infection. Flu shots are about 50 to 60 percent effective at preventing influenza when the circulating viruses are similar to those included in the vaccine.
Who Should Get a Flu Vaccine?
Everyone who is older than 6 months and has no contraindicated conditions should be vaccinated against influenza. It is especially important to get vaccinated against influenza if you have asthma or COPD, if you are pregnant or trying to conceive. People who work with children, the sick or elderly should also get vaccinated.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your flu shot at one of our convenient Long Island offices or to learn more about this important vaccine.