Why You Need a New Flu Vaccine Every Year

Flu Vaccine, Singh Family Medicine

Flu shots are, hands down, the best way to avoid getting the flu. Still, each year an estimated 5-20% of Americans get the flu with about 200,000 people hospitalized due to complications from the virus.

Last year’s flu saw a record number of deaths -- 80,000, in the United States. Staggering statistics, and yet many people avoid getting the flu shot, failing to get vaccinated against the current expected strains of the flu virus. During National Influenza Vaccination Week, December 2-8, our staff at Singh Family Medical Clinic shares why you need a new flu shot each year.

It protects you and others

Some people think that young, healthy, people don’t need the vaccine. They feel if they do succumb to the virus, they'll only be down and out for a few days. While that may be true to some extent, if you do get the flu, you’re contagious and may infect more vulnerable members of the population.

Infants, seniors, and those whose immune systems are compromised by cancer, chemotherapy treatment, or HIV experience life-threatening complications from the flu virus. Moreover, for your own health, you really can’t predict how your body will respond to the flu, no matter how healthy you believe you are.

This year’s flu vaccine ensures the best protection against the newest strains and mutations of influenza, so your best defense is to roll up your sleeve and get this year’s flu shot.

The flu’s yearly evolution

You may be surprised to find out the flu shot you received last year isn’t going to protect you against this years flu virus. The reason is the sheer tenacity of the influenza virus. This viral master of reinvention tries to stay one step ahead of your body’s ability to protect itself, morphing into newer strains with each flu season.

Luckily for people living in the US, our neighbors in the southern hemisphere experience the flu outbreak before we do. This allows the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to study the newer strains, develop immunizations, and bring the latest vaccines to the public. Based on what was learned, the 2018-2019 flu shot targets the latest influenza strains successfully.

Busting flu shot myths

There are several misconceptions about the flu vaccine that we can clear up for you, based on the latest information from the CDC:

 

 

 

If you got your flu shot in prior years, you still have protection against those prior strains, but not against the current strains of influenza. Due to the subtle mutations of the virus, you need another flu shot to protect you for 2018-2019.

 

Schedule your flu shot today and be protected against the latest, deadly flu strains. Call our office in Bakersfield, California, or book an appointment online.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What a DOT or DMV Exam Entails

Are you getting a commercial driver’s license? If you drive for your job, it’s important to make sure you’re in good health, and a DOT or DMV physical exam is an essential step of the CDL process. Learn what to expect during your exam.

Vaccines and Boosters Every Adult Should Have

Vaccinations and booster shots aren’t just for kids. Adults hoping to avoid several serious, even life-threatening conditions, also benefit from routine vaccinations. And if it’s been a while, your childhood vaccines may need an update.

How a Pap Smear Can Save Your Life

No one looks forward to having a Pap smear, but they have a remarkable track record of saving lives. Learn how a Pap smear can protect you in the fight against cervical cancer.