Myth and fears surrounding the flu shot can often be blamed for the relatively low turnout for vaccinations. We’ve exposed a few of those flu myths and provided some compelling information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to remind you that influenza demands attention.
The flu is not just a passing cold — it is a serious illness that takes lives every year.
Consider last year’s flu season. It started early and lasted relatively long with influenza-like illness (ILI) climbing above the baseline Nov. 22, 2014 and remaining there for 20 consecutive weeks.
The season was especially severe for seniors — 2014 to 2015 saw the highest hospitalization rates for this age bracket since record-keeping began in 2005.
Newborn to 4 year old children accounted for second highest population of those hospitalized behind seniors — 55.4 per 100,000 children were hospitalized for flu last year with 146 infant deaths.
Influenza-related deaths rose above the epidemic threshold the week of Jan. 3, 2015, and peeked the week ending Jan. 17 with flu cases accounting for 19.3 percent of deaths reported during that period.
Preparing for Flu Season
The country experiences an epidemic, or flu season, every year. But it’s impossible to predict what’s in store for the 2015-2016 season — timing, severity or length. Cases may be reported as early as October and as late as May.
In preparing for flu season, the CDC strongly recommends getting a flu shot as early as October to protect yourself this season. And as long as the virus is circulating, it’s never too late to get vaccinated the organization states.
Yet many refuse the flu shot.
Flu myths and fears concerning its safety or efficacy, for example, often prevent people from getting vaccinated.
So we’ve done the research for you and debunked five of those flu myths. The season is just around the corner. Learn why getting your flu shot is the safe, smart choice.