Did you know that getting a flu shot by November can protect you and others from getting the virus? Doctors recommend getting the vaccine before the flu peaks — between December and February — to stay healthy throughout the flu season.
When it comes to preventing yourself and others from getting the flu, Moda Health Clinical Pharmacist, Tina Mody, said nothing beats a flu shot. “Getting the flu vaccine is the most effective way to avoid the flu for yourself and the people you interact with,” she said.
Each year, the flu spreads around the United States, typically between October and May. By getting a flu shot early, you can prevent yourself and others who are more susceptible from catching the contagious disease.
While anyone can get the flu and other flu-related complications such as pneumonia, bronchitis, sinus infections and ear infections, those who are at greater risk include infants, young children, people 65 years of age and older, pregnant women, and those with certain health conditions or weakened immune systems.
Herd immunity is a form of indirect protection for contagious diseases, particularly people who have not been immunized. Through vaccination, individuals help lower the spread of the flu within the larger population.
Katie Scheelar, manager of pharmaceutical programs at Moda Health, said getting a flu shot is important for preventing those who are more vulnerable from getting the virus.
“We don’t know the people we pass on the street each day who are undergoing chemotherapy, have low blood cell counts, or can easily acquire infections,” she said. “Knowing that you have had a vaccine is important for your health, and for the health of others.”
Where to get a flu shot
Each year, Moda offers flu shot clinics to its employees. Hosting flu shot clinics is one way companies can make it easy for their employees to get vaccinated during working hours without having to take the time to schedule an appointment or travel to their doctor’s office. Here are other ways to get vaccinated. In many cases, flu shots are free with most insurance plans.
Protect yourself and others
While staying healthy may still be the top incentive for getting a flu shot, when it comes to deciding whether or not to get the vaccine, Scheelar said you should think about others, too.
“Even if you don’t get sick, you can carry the flu virus and pass it on to someone who it can really impact,” she said. “This is why it’s important to look beyond yourself, to think about other higher-risk individuals such as children and older adults who have lower immune systems.”
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Moda comes from the latin term "modus" and means "a way". We picked it because that's what we are here to do: help our communities find a way to better health.
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