It's that time of year again, when the weather is cold and the flu picks up speed. If you haven't already, now is the time to get the flu vaccine. Here are five reasons why.
It can protect you and others
The flu shot contains inactive viruses, so while it’s not possible to get the flu from the vaccine, it does prime your immune system so that it will protect you if it does come into contact with those viruses. This can also protect others, as you will not be passing on the flu virus.
You can maintain your protection by getting it each year
Getting a yearly vaccine is important, not only because immunity wanes after a year, but because the vaccine changes each year due to predicted strains of flu viruses. Scientists decide which strains will be most active during the coming flu season and create the vaccines accordingly.
It’s convenient to get the vaccine
These days you can get the flu vaccine just about anywhere. Chain pharmacies such as Walgreens and CVS offer flu shots, as well as doctor’s offices, clinics and many work places. Check in your area for the most convenient place to stop by for a flu shot.
You can get the flu shot for free or at a low cost
Many insurance companies will cover flu shots under a wellness plan. Medicare covers the cost completely, and many pharmacies offer the vaccine at discounts of $5. Generally the cost varies between $5 and $30 out-of-pocket, or $10 to $15 for those with insurance.
Prevents heart disease
In addition to protecting you from the flu, new research suggests that the vaccine will also protect you from heart disease. Researchers looked at clinical trials dating back to the 1960s and found that those who had the vaccine decreased their risk of heart attack, stroke and cardiac death by 50 percent.
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