Although there are plenty of advertisements urging us to get the flu shot, many Canadians are still willing to take their chances each year.
In 2015-2016 alone, only 32.4 percent of Canadians got a flu shot in the previous 12 months according to Statistics Canada.
Despite knowing that the flu vaccine is recommended by many medical professionals, plenty of us still need some convincing about the need for the flu vaccine.
Here are five reasons why you should definitely get in line for the flu shot this year:
1. The Flu Can Be Deadly
Many of us think of the flu as being nothing but a mild virus that can make you bedridden for a couple of days. But in actuality, it can be much more serious – and even life-threatening.
According to the Government of Canada, influenza (often caused the flu) causes over 12,000 hospitalizations and 3,500 deaths each year in Canada.
Certain groups of adults are at a higher risk for influenza-related complications. Besides being 65 years of age or older, risk factors include:
- People with chronic conditions
- People with heart disease or a history of strokes
- Pregnant women
- People who HIV or AIDS
- People who have cancer
Even if you yourself don’t have one of these risk factors, consider getting the flu shot for the sake of those around you.
2. You Can Get a Needle-Free Alternative
No longer do you need to skip receiving the flu vaccine due to a fear of needles.
For people who are between the ages of 2 and 49, healthy, not pregnant and don’t have asthma, there is a nasal spray available.
The intradermal shot is another alternative to the traditional flu shot. This version, which can be used on people 18 to 64 years old, uses a tiny needle that you barely feel.
3. You Get a Customized Flu Shot Each Year
Each year, research is conducted to determine which strains of influenza will most likely appear during flu season.
Even if it’s not a complete match, having received the vaccine can reduce your chances of contracting various strains of the virus. For those who do get sick, the vaccine you received can decrease the severity of the symptoms.
4. Flu Shots Create Little to No Side Effects
Although often rumoured about, getting the flu vaccine does not cause the flu!
The most common side effect of getting the flu vaccine is pain at the injection site. Other side effects include a headache, a stuffy nose or a sore throat. Many people experience no side effects.
5. The Flu Shot Will Protect More than Just You
From sneezing and coughing to touching something that has the virus germs on it (then touching your face), the flu can spread easily from person to person.
Getting the flu shot not only protects yourself, but it protects your loved ones, your coworkers and your community members.