This post is made possible by the American Lung Association, in collaboration with Sanofi Pasteur as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
It wasn’t until I turned 50 that I made a point to get a flu shot every year. Not only am I at increased risk for flu complications now, but I travel a lot, and the amount of coughing, sneezing and sniffling going on in the friendly skies scares me silly. Plus, recent flu strains have been getting people really sick.
But, here we are in 2019 already, and I just got my flu shot for the year. Better late than never!
When is it too late to get a flu shot?
Wanna hear something scary? Flu season isn’t over!
In fact, the flu is widespread and on the rise, so get your flu shot — it’s not too late! If the vaccine is still available for the year, it means the flu could still be spreading and you should get a flu shot.
Why get a flu shot?
Vaccination is the best way to help protect against the flu and the flu (aka influenza) is no joke. It’s a serious respiratory illness that’s easily spread and can lead to severe, sometimes life-threatening health problems such as pneumonia, exacerbation of heart disease and even death.
Young children, pregnant women, adults 50 years of age and older and those with chronic health conditions are especially at risk of flu-related infection and complications, so health officials recommend everyone 6 months of age and older with rare exception receive an annual flu vaccination.
Remember too that the flu shot not only helps protect you but the people around you. The more people who get a flu shot, the less it spreads.
Should you get a flu shot if you’ve already had the flu?
The short answer is yes. Even if you’ve had one strain, the flu shot can protect you from the other virus strains floating around.
If you’re age 50 or older, the potential dangers of flu complications simply aren’t worth the risk. Seventy percent of adults ages 50 to 64 have one or more chronic illnesses such as heart disease, asthma, lung disease or diabetes and the flu can worsen the symptoms and trigger severe inflammatory responses sometimes leading to pneumonia and hospitalization.
Where to get a flu shot.
Flu shots are readily available at doctor’s offices, clinics, urgent cares, drugstores and pharmacies. I used the vaccine finder at the American Lung Association’s GetMyShot.org to find a pharmacy with a current supply of flu vaccines, but I also recommend talking to a healthcare professional about which type of flu shot option would be best for your needs.