You know when flu season is here — and chances are it is not because you or a family member has come down with the nasty virus. Instead, the initiation of the beginnings of flu season occurs when doctors, clinics, pharmacists, schools, businesses and drug stores start passing out flu vaccinations like coffee. With flu vaccines advertised with such force, you may be wondering who should get a flu shot in your family?
Well, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the answer is a simple, “yes.” Every member of your family over the age of 6 months old should get a flu vaccine in order to prevent dangerous complications and even unnecessary flu-related deaths. The flu season typically runs between October and May, although the vaccine is most beneficial when taken early in the season.
Vulnerable Family Members
Are you expecting a new baby? If so, your pregnant body is much more susceptible to contracting influenza, as well as developing fetal-related complications that could lead to distress or even an emergency c-section. In fact, pregnant women are as much as five times more likely to contract the flu than the general population. Other family members that may be more vulnerable to the flu than others include young children, babies and the elderly. These high-risk groups are defined as individuals over the age of 65, children under age 5, individuals with auto-immune disorders and individuals who work or live in health care facilities.
Remember, even if you are not at an elevated risk for developing the flu, you still need to get a flu shot. Not only will the vaccination help prevent an illness that could last a week or more, but it also helps protect those individuals in the population who are at a higher probability contracting the virus and also developing complications from it.