The change in colors, the brisker mornings each day… Indeed, ‘tis the season for flu. Influenza – or “Flu” for short—is a family of viruses that cause infections with symptoms like fever, runny noses, coughing and congestion. Flu may be thought of as a nuisance by some, but in addition to inferring with school work/social plans for a few weeks, the flu is also a big contributor to hospitalizations and even mortality in the United States. October is the start of flu season, with peak flu months are in January and February. However, the flu season can extend even further than that each year. Getting a flu vaccine is an important way to reduce risk of influenza infections, so we’ll answer some frequently asked questions about why, how and when to get vaccinated.
Why are flu vaccines important?
We can think of flu vaccine as both important to you, as an individual, and for an entire population. If you get the vaccine, you reduce your own risk of contracting the flu. In addition, you also reduce your chances of transmitting the flu to others. Thus, in addition to reducing your own flu risk, you also help to reduce the number you could potentially infect, and by extension, help curb the possibility of a potential epidemic in a population.