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National Influenza Vaccination Week
We have officially turned the calendar to December. Colder weather, including snow, is on the horizon, meaning we will have some beautiful scenery and some tough commutes! Along with the change from fall to winter, however, comes a greater chance of getting sick. December is a month in which individuals should take the initiative to stay healthy, and from the 6th until the 12th of the month, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention encourages everyone to participate in National Influenza Week.
The influenza vaccine has received some criticism in recent years but the fact remains that it provides many health benefits. The vaccine is also known as a flu shot, and is an annual vaccination in which a low strain of different viruses are exposed to your immune system in order to strengthen resistance to the infection. An annual flu shot is necessary to protect you fully as the body’s immunity to vaccines declines and the influenza virus continuously changes due to mutations.
The most common question regarding the influenza vaccine is if it is necessary. Influenza is a serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and possibly death, and the best way to reduce the chances of being susceptible to the virus is to get the shot each season. The virus will spread less through the community if more people decided to get the flu shot.
Influenza vaccines will prompt the body to create antibodies to help aid the immune system two weeks after you get the shot. Feeling sick for a few days simply means that your body is reacting to the foreign substance and is therefore lessening the chances of catching the virus again. Influenza vaccinations are available as early as October, although the most common outbreaks occur during the months of December and January.
The first step in staying active and keeping your body physically fit is staying healthy. The flu shot is offered at doctors’ offices, health clinics, pharmacies, and college health centers, so you can still get the vaccine even if you do not have a regular doctor. Consider receiving the influenza vaccine if you are serious about protecting yourself from getting sick.
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