Sponsored by The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
There is no shortage of snow or outdoor activities during wintertime in Michigan. Our family loves to sled down our hill, downhill ski, and work on perfecting our snow angels in the freshly fallen powder. Afterward, we warm up inside with hot cocoa and a fire. Wintertime also means a breeding ground for viruses as well as the flu. This year, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is important for Michiganders to protect themselves and their families by getting a flu shot.
We choose to vaccinate ourselves and our boys to help keep our bodies and our community healthy. As a parent, this pandemic can often feel overwhelming, but giving our boys this year’s flu shot has been one actionable step to give peace of mind and help protect against a serious disease.
Today, in partnership with Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), I’m rounding up my top 5 benefits of getting the flu vaccine this year.
5 Flu Vaccine Benefits in Michigan
1. Despite Common Misconceptions, The Flu is Very Serious.
Last year in the U.S. there were an estimated 39 – 56 million cases of the flu. There were 18 – 26 million medical visits due to the flu, and approximately half a million flu hospitalizations. This included six pediatric flu-related deaths right here in Michigan. As a mama to two young boys, these are heartbreaking statistics, and help to make up my mind to choose to vaccinate against the flu.
2. A Flu Shot Cannot Cause The Flu.
Despite what you may have been told, the flu vaccine does not have a live virus in it, so it is impossible to get the flu from the vaccine. Getting the flu vaccine is quick and hassle free and most people experience no side effects from the flu shot. Among those that do, most report soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling around where the shot was given. Some people may develop a low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches. These short term, minor side effects are not the flu. Instead, they are signs of your body developing the immunity it needs to fight off the flu.
3. Flu Vaccination Can Keep You and Your Loved Ones From Getting Sick With The Flu.
This may be one of the most obvious benefits of the flu vaccine, but cannot be stressed enough. Keeping my family healthy is one of my greatest worries as a mom. Flu vaccination has been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor due to the flu by 40 to 60 percent. At a time when our healthcare system is already stressed, it’s important that we avoid outbreaks of preventable potentially deadly diseases, like the flu.
4. Flu Vaccination Helps Prevent The Flu in People With Chronic Health Conditions.
Vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease. This is especially important for our family’s genetic history. Flu vaccination is also shown to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes and chronic lung disease.
5. The Flu Vaccine is Safe, Effective, & Helps To Protect Everyone.
The flu vaccine is safe for Michiganders to receive. This includes children 6 months and older as well as women who are pregnant. In fact, vaccination reduces the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant women by up to one-half. Even more amazing, a flu vaccine given during pregnancy helps protect the baby from flu infection for several months after birth!
It’s Not Too Late!
Despite being available since the fall, it is not too late to get the flu vaccine now. There are many benefits to doing so! However, it is important to get a flu shot as soon as possible. It takes up to two weeks after receiving for your body to build up enough immunity to prevent the flu. The great news for Michiganders is that there is an ample supply of the flu vaccine readily available throughout Michigan, including doctors’ offices, pharmacies, and local health departments.
For resources and to learn more about the flu vaccines, visit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.