Allanah Dykes
October 30, 2016 6:05 pm
IAKOBCHUK VIACHESLAV/Shutterstock

Flu season is upon us, friends. Which means that even though you’d rather be updating your to-do list and your budget with all the cute boots and cozy cardigans you’d like to add to your collection, the first thing you might want to consider is whether or not you should get a flu shot. According to the Centers for Disease Control, “everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every year by the end of October, if possible,” but it’s definitely OK if you get your shot a bit later. The CDC says that influenza activity can start as early as October and November, but it usually peaks between December and March, lasting until May, so you can still prepare yourself.

Let’s just be real. There isn’t much reason to not get a flu shot. If you have insurance, you can get your flu shot for free at your doctor’s office, local health department, or a clinic like Planned Parenthood. Even if you don’t have insurance it is still very cheap and easy to get the shot at drugstores like Walmart and CVS. You can even get a flu shot at Costco for $15 per shot.

But the biggest reason you should be getting your shot does not even involve you. You could be saving someone else’s life by getting your flu shot.

Everyone is at risk of getting the flu. But when young children and people over 65 years old get the flu, they run the risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia or infection. So although you may not fall under these categories and think that if you get the flu you’ll just call out sick, drink some soup, and watch the Gilmore Girls reboot, it can be much more serious than that for other communities.

According to Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent, most people that die from the flu have underlying illnesses or a weakened immune system.

Getting a vaccine, like any medical decision, is always a personal choice. But you might be able to help yourself, and others that are more vulnerable, by just getting a flu shot this season. Ask your doctor and do your research to figure out what’s right for you, but getting vaccinated could be…wait for it…worth a shot.

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