You don’t have to fall victim to the flu each winter. When you elect to get your flu vaccine, you’re protecting yourself from unwanted symptoms, such as fever, cold, sore throat, and body aches. You’re also preventing the spread of the flu to your friends, coworkers and family members.
“Don’t wait to get your flu shot, ideally in the month of October,” says Matt Roth, MD, medical director of ProMedica Wellness. “It does take a few weeks to develop the full immunity to the virus, and in the heart of the season, it may be too late to protect you.”
If you’ve had the flu, you know how contagious the disease can be. Flu viruses are spread a number of ways:
- Inhaling infected droplets in the air, spread when someone with the flu coughs or sneezes.
- Direct contact with an infected person’s secretions by kissing, touching or sharing silverware.
- Touching your hands, nose, eyes, or mouth after being exposed to doorknobs and handles, television remotes, computer keyboards, telephones, and other items used by someone with the flu.
The flu shot is much like a protective shield, allowing you to go about your day without worrying so much about what you touch or whom you come in contact with. And it’s important to know that you cannot get sick from the flu vaccine.
Dr. Roth explains that all vaccinations licensed in the United States — including the flu vaccine — are safeand adhere to the highest safety standards, which are constantly evaluated. You can only get the flu if you carried the virus prior to getting the vaccine.
Learn more about the importance of getting your annual flu vaccine by watching this One Minute Wellness video featuring Dr. Roth.