Our privacy policy has changed. By using this site, you agree to the Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. Dismiss

Fall in line for your flu shot

Nov. 16, 2013

By Bruce Weiss, senior market medical director, UnitedHealthcare of Wisconsin

Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. The illness causes missed work and school days. In 2012, Americans missed 17 million work days due to flu-related illness, resulting in more than $6.2 billion in costs to companies’ bottom lines. (source:http://www.cdc.gov/workplacehealthpromotion/evaluation/topics/immunization.html)

The best way to protect yourself and reduce your chances of getting the flu this year is to get a flu vaccine. According to the Centers for Disease Control, everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine. It is increasingly important to get vaccinated for people who have certain medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or chronic lung disease, pregnant women, young children under 5 and people 65 and older. (Source: http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm)

Despite the evidence and recommendations, hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin residents won’t get vaccinated this year. Not only does that put your own personal health and well-being at risk, but it increases the chances of your family, friends, co-workers and neighbors getting sick too. Consider the following:

Getting the shot will not give you the flu.

According to the CDC, the flu shot vaccine is made with either inactivated flu viruses (and therefore not infectious) or with no flu vaccine viruses at all. Many people report experiencing flu-like symptoms after getting the vaccine, such as muscle pain or weakness, but these symptoms go away after a day or two, and are much less severe than the actual flu.

Young, healthy people get the flu, too.

Influenza does not discriminate against age or healthy habits. Just because you’re young or don’t typically get sick doesn’t mean you can’t catch the flu. According to the CDC, people who have the flu can spread it to others from as far as six feet away. You can also catch the flu from someone who has yet to exhibit any signs or symptoms of being sick.

The flu shot is not expensive.

In most cases, the cost of a flu shot is covered by your health insurance plan, whether you buy health insurance on your own or are covered through your employer, through Medicare or Medicaid. More employers are now offering free onsite flu shot clinics at the office. If you get the flu, the cost of treating it and the potential for missed days of work or school far exceeds the cost of the vaccination.

Getting the flu shot vaccine is fast, easy and convenient.

Getting a flu shot takes no more than five minutes. Most neighborhood pharmacies even offer walk-in options, so you don’t need to make an appointment. If you are unemployed or your employer doesn’t offer flu shots, you can go to your primary care doctor or nearby wellness clinic, most retail pharmacies or contracted flu shot providers. To find a list of flu shot providers near you, visit http://www.flu.gov/

Make your and your family’s health a priority this year by getting a flu shot.

Community Watch

» Franklin condo fire sends one woman to the hospital 4/27

» Franklin police holding self-defense seminar for women May 7 4/27

» Sport Shorts: April 28, 2016 4/26

» Franklin water rates could increase by 7 percent 4/26

» Whitnall gets new school district superintendent 4/26

» New Franklin track christened with Saber invite wins 4/26

» Oak Creek girls track wins third straight outdoor invite 4/26

» Franklin celebrating Arbor Day with saplings and city cleanup 4/25

» Kayla's Playground closed April 26 4/25

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Previewing NFL Draft with Rob Reischel and Nathan Tanguay 4/25

» Whitnall names Lisa Olson superintendent of schools Updated:  4/22

» Rooftop patio added to proposed expansion of the Bosch 4/21

» Oak Creek girls track and field team opens outdoor with two invite wins 4/21

» Initial Reaction Podcast: Realignment in area conferences and the status of girls/women's basketball in Wisconsin 4/21

» Pen and ink drawings going on display in May at Boerner Botanical Gardens 4/20

» Southbrook Church hosting prescription drug awareness event April 25 4/20

» Oak Creek boys track opens outdoor on strong note 4/19

» Oak Creek's big bats bring down Franklin softball team 4/19

» Oak Creek-Franklin School District's director of business reflects on career, looks forward in Q&A 4/19

» Greendale to celebrate groundbreaking of new fire station 4/19

» Oak Creek's big bats overpower Franklin softball team, 14-6 4/18

» Greendale 5K run/walk to raise awareness for kidney health 4/18

» Broadway star, Greendale native Sarah Pfisterer offers fundraiser concert for marching band 4/18

» Cleaning of Franklin rain garden scheduled for April 27 4/18

» Meijer customers given opportunity to co-star in television commercial 4/18

View All Posts Got a tip? Welcome rss

Advertisement

Advertisement

CONNECT    

Advertisement