Get your flu shot to stay healthy
Getting a flu shot is all too easy to forget about in our busy fall and winter schedules. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than half of Americans got their flu shot last year. This played a part in making 2018 one of the worst flu seasons in 40 years. Almost a million Americans landed in the hospital with the flu, and 80,000 people died from a flu-related illness last year.
The single best way to prevent the flu is by getting your annual flu vaccine. Just like wearing a seatbelt in the car prevents many injuries, the flu vaccine prevents many people from getting the flu. Getting your flu vaccine helps protect those in your community who are at a higher risk of getting sick. This includes babies too young for the shot, pregnant women, older people, and people with health conditions.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, here are five simple ways to make it easier to get your vaccine this year:
- Make it a family affair. Thanks to regular reminders from schools and pediatricians, kids are more likely to remember to get their flu shot than adults. Set a good example by joining your kids and getting your shot on the same day they do.
- Take a crew with you. Go together as a group with friends, relatives, or co-workers to get your flu shots – and celebrate with a treat after! It’s fun and helps ensure that the people you hang out with are also protected from the flu.
- Mark your calendar. Set a simple recurring calendar reminder every year to help you prepare for flu shot season. Or choose a date, like the first of September, as your annual go-to. If you reach the end of December with no shot, it’s still not too late. Go in ASAP for a healthier new year.
- Relax. Shots are more painful when a muscle is tense. Until the shot is administered, let your arm hang, or if seated, lay your hand flat on your upper leg.
- Make a game plan. Decide which arm will receive the injection. A shot in your dominant arm may mean you notice more soreness, but the extra movement of the arm will help work the vaccine into the muscle faster.
- Ease the pain. A dose of ibuprofen or acetaminophen can help reduce inflammation.
- Drink up! Make sure to drink water before and following the vaccination. Hydrated muscles aid in quicker recovery and take up the inoculant more efficiently than a dehydrated muscle.
- Treat yourself. Sucking or chewing on something sugary during the injection releases endorphins, helping reduce the amount of pain you feel.
No more excuses! Make sure you get your flu vaccine this season to help everyone around you have a healthier year.
The single best way to prevent the flu is by getting your annual flu vaccine.
Convenient flu shot locations
Learn about getting your flu shot at your local pharmacy