If you’ve been putting off getting a flu shot, time’s up. Now is the time to get a flu shot to protect yourself and the people around you as both the holidays and the flu season approach. The flu vaccine doesn’t work immediately -- it takes about two weeks for antibodies to develop in the body that protect against the influenza viruses in the vaccine.

Flu can be mild.  Flu can be miserable. But flu can also be deadly. While those with other medical problems are at higher risk of serious complications from influenza even those who are healthy may suffer severe consequences as well. Because of this, the CDC recommends that everyone who is 6 months and older get an annual flu vaccination. Young children, the elderly, pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions are at the highest risk of prolonged sickness, hospitalization and death. If you are welcoming a new baby cousin or planning to visit relatives in a nursing home, you should get a flu shot for their sake to reduce the chances that you might infect others.

Millions of people get the flu every year and hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized. Most healthy adults who come down with the flu will be miserable for anywhere from a few days to two weeks. If that isn’t reason enough to get vaccinated, consider the threat to the people around you this holiday season.

Older people tend to have compromised immune systems, making them more susceptible to the flu. Babies younger than six months and people undergoing chemotherapy or who are otherwise severely immunocompromised can’t be vaccinated for the flu.

The flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common this year. Getting a flu vaccine doesn’t mean you’ll be immune to all influenza viruses but it will help protect you and the people closest to you.

Find places nearby to get a flu vaccine (or any vaccine): vaccinefinder.org

BE A VACCINE CHAMPION!

Talk to others about the importance of getting a flu shot every year. Less than half of American adults got the flu shot last year, despite its widespread availability at doctors’ offices, supermarkets, pharmacies and often in workplaces or community events

Remind people how serious the flu can be and that getting vaccinated protects your family and friends. Here are few facts to share about the importance of the seasonal flu vaccine:

Any flu infection can carry a risk of serious complications, hospitalization or death, even among otherwise healthy children and adults 

Flu is highly contagious and everyone is at risk

  • Children under five, pregnant women and adults over 65 are more likely to suffer flu complications that require hospitalization
  • Flu can make common chronic medical problems, such as asthma or heart disease, worse. Other complications from the flu include sinus and ear infections, pneumonia, and inflammation of the heart, brain or muscles
  • Flu poses a serious health risk for pregnant women and their babies; vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy and can protect newborns from the flu
  • You can’t get the flu from the flu vaccine
  • Flu vaccination may make your illness milder if you do get sick

By getting a flu shot, you’re protecting the people closest to you

Help us improve lives through immunization. Now through November 23, every donation to Sabin will receive three free Hug Me, I’m Vaccinated stickers.