Influenza is one of the world's most contagious diseases, spreading with ease through the air and by touch.* It affects between 5 and 15 percent of the world's population every year.* The disease kills 12,000 Americans during mild flu seasons and up to 56,000 in severe ones, with 90 percent of the victims over 65 years old.* There are many people in the world that choose not be vaccinated and the reasons behind why they don’t vary. Some believe that it is ineffective or just don’t get around to doing so. We’ll explore the flu vaccine in greater detail and see just how effective it is and if it really is worth it for you to invest in getting vaccinated.
How Does The Flu Vaccine Work?-The flu vaccine contains weakened versions of several of the most prevalent strains of the influenza virus which does not cause any serious sickness yet assists the immune system in learning how to combat the virus. The white blood cells generate an abundance of antibodies which eliminate the viruses by attaching themselves to the antigen portions of the viruses.
How Effective Is It?-The level of effectiveness depends on how closely it matches the flu viruses that are in existence during the year in which people received it. In certain years, flu vaccines have protected 50%-70% of the people that received it.* Further, getting the flu vaccine can help make the symptoms of the flu less severe if you do end up catching the flu.*
Is Getting The Flu Vaccine Worth It?-Since there is no danger in getting a flu vaccine and since it has the potential to lessen the symptoms of the flu if you catch it if not totally protect you from getting it in the first place, it cannot hurt to get it.
In conclusion, although the influenza vaccine may not 100% guarantee that you wont contract it during a given year, it can help by increasing the likelihood that you may not contract it since not getting it only keeps your chances on a neutral level. As always, please consult your healthcare provider before making any changes to your diet or exercise regimen.