Winter is almost upon us, which means that the flu season has started and it is time to think about getting vaccinated.
The flu is a very contagious respiratory illness and is caused by the influenza virus. Its symptoms are usually more severe than the common cold and can lead to severe complications. In order to make an informed decision about getting vaccinated, here is important information on the flu vaccine.
Your immune system protects you from infections and vaccines are used to boost your immune system to prevent serious, life-threatening diseases.
Vaccines “train” your body to defend itself when certain viruses or bacteria invade by:
Exposing you to a very small and safe amount of virus or bacteria.
Helping your immune system learn to recognize and attack an infection.
Vaccination is the best way to prevent the flu. Since flu viruses constantly change, a new version of the vaccine is developed every year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends yearly flu vaccines for everyone 6 months of age and older. According to the CDC’s website, “people should begin getting vaccinated soon after the flu vaccine becomes available, if possible by October, to ensure that as many people as possible are protected before flu season begins. However, as long as flu viruses are circulating in the community, it’s not too late to get vaccinated.”
If you are in the United States, you can visit the HealthMap Vaccine Finder to find locations near you offering the flu vaccine.
Learn more about vaccines from A.D.A.M.'s SmartEngage product. If you have more questions Ask A Doctor. If you are interested in licensing our content, please contact us.
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