As the calendar turns to the heart of the holiday season, those of us fortunate enough to have given thanks for good health have every reason in the world to keep it that way. And yet, most everyone can benefit from a little push in the right direction from time-to-time.
Enter National Influenza Vaccination Week: December 1-7, 2019.
Established by the CDC in 2005, this week-long observance was created to encourage people of all ages, including those as young as six months, to get up-to-date with their annual vaccination shots at a local pharmacy or through their primary healthcare providers.
Top Your “To-Do” List
Although early winter weather has already arrived in much of the country, the opportunity window for getting the flu vaccine continues to be open for anyone who has put it off. Even for those who have successfully gone through a bout of it to this point, the CDC says vaccination still offers beneficial protection against the four main flu viruses in circulation.
The 2016-2017 flu season was a prime example in which prevention again proved to be worth many pounds of cure. During that timeframe, the vaccine kept an estimated 5.3 million people from coming down with the flu, while reducing the severity of symptoms and shortening the recovery times for others who did contract mild forms of the illness.
Good Health is not “Good Enough”
There is a certain false sense of security that comes from evading the flu for a long period of time. Although most can relate to a point-in-time when the flu knocked them down and kept them that way for a week or more, a nice stretch of sickness-free flu seasons can be misleading. Truth told all people are at risk of developing serious flu complications, such as pneumonia, bacterial infections, asthma, and other respiratory problems, as well as cardiovascular conditions.
One study conducted in 2018 showed that from 2012 to 2015, flu vaccination among adults reduced the risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit with flu by 82 percent.
Just as importantly, experts contend that vaccination is important—particularly to children and pregnant women. Regarding the latter, women who are carrying not only can receive the flu shot, they are urged to get it. Reports verify that that the flu vaccine helps protect newborns against the flu for several months until they are old enough to receive direct vaccinations.
A “20/20” Outlook on Flu Season 2019-20
According to the CDC, the 2018-19 flu season ran a full 21 weeks—the longest in a decade. As such, the U.S. was hit by waves of the H1N1 and H3N2 viruses in rapid succession all the way through May 2019. More than 200,000 people were hospitalized and approximately 36,000 people killed. By those numbers, Harvard Medical School reports, it was an average year.
That’s unacceptable in our book.
As it stands, the CDC reports this year’s updated vaccine is predicted to be a good match, which is a decidedly good thing, because a well-matched flu shot has proven up to 60 percent effective in avoiding costly doctor visits and sick days. Just the sort of help you should expect to receive from your neighborhood pharmacy.
Get the shot, not the flu … today!
To find a Benzer location near you, visit https://www.benzerpharmacy.com/find-a-store/