The flu can be miserable—and downright dangerous. People die from flu complications every year, so don’t forget your best defense against this common illness: getting your annual flu shot.
The shot can help keep you from getting the flu and its related complications. Plus, getting vaccinated means you’ll be less likely to pass that nasty virus on to others.
Pick Your Vaccine
Flu viruses change constantly, and immunity wears off over time. Even if you got the shot last year, you’ll need another one this year.
There are several flu vaccine options:
- A high-dose vaccine for people 65 and older. Age lessens the immune response, so this higher dose may offer more protection for older people. Right now, there is no recommendation for
seniors to choose this shot over the regular flu shot.
- An intradermal vaccine, available for those ages 18 to 64. It uses a tiny needle to inject the vaccine into the skin, rather than the muscle.
- The regular flu shot, recommended for everyone six months and older.
Ask your doctor which is the best choice for you.
If you do end up with the flu, see your doctor. Antiviral medicines can help you recover more quickly, but they work best if you start them within two days of when your symptoms began. Call your doctor if you have:
- A cough or sore throat.
- A fever.
- Body aches or a headache.
More Prevention Tips
It’s important to take simple precautions too:
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
- Cover your coughs and sneezes.
- Keep your distance from others who are ill.
- Wash your hands with soap and water often.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention