Should I get the flu shot?

Most people who get the flu will have mild illness, will not need medical care or antiviral drugs, and will recover in less than two weeks. However, some individuals may experience flu complications, such as pneumonia, that can result in hospitalization and sometimes death. During recent flu seasons, between 80% and 90% of flu related deaths have occurred in people 65 years and older.

Populations at higher risk for flu complications:

  • Adults over the age of 65
  • Pregnant women
  • Children under the age of two
  • Residents in nursing homes or care facilities

Medical conditions that increase risk for flu complications:

  • Asthma or other chronic lung disease
  • Neurological conditions (ie. seizures, stroke, spinal cord injury)
  • Heart disease
  • Diabetes or other endocrine disorders
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Weakened immune system (ie. HIV, cancer, autoimmune)
  • Body mass index over 40
  • Medications

Consider a flu vaccine if any of the above applies or if you cannot afford to take three plus days off work to recover from the flu (ie. single moms, no paid time off). Lastly, if you live with vulnerable individuals who are not vaccinated.

Tips to help boost your immune system this flu season:

  • Avoid sugar and refined carbohydrates
  • Eat fruits and vegetables
  • Relax and de-stress
  • Wash your hands

Answer: It depends on your unique situation!

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