Did you know that during the 2019 to 2020 flu season, flu shots prevented an estimated 7.5 million flu cases? Health experts also say that flu vaccination helped avert approximately 105,000 hospitalizations. Moreover, the flu vaccine seems to have saved at least 6,300 lives from flu-related death.
Those are only some of the biggest benefits of the flu shot. In fact, getting the flu vaccine is one of the key steps on how to stay healthy this winter (and every winter).
On that note, we made this guide discussing the finer details of flu vaccination benefits. Read on to discover just how effective an “immunity booster” the flu shot is.
1. Protection Against Influenza A
According to https://qcurgentcare.com/urgent-care/flu-shot-protection/, adults over 50 have a higher risk of flu. The same goes for pregnant women and those with chronic health conditions. However, their risks can go up even further due to influenza type A viruses.
That’s because type A flu evolves and mutates two to three times faster than type B influenza. This is why type A flu viruses can cause outbreaks.
A perfect example of type A influenza is avian flu. This infection doesn’t limit itself to birds, though, as it can spread to humans and other animals. For this reason, type A influenza can result in pandemics.
The latest CDC study found that the flu vaccine is at least 37% effective against influenza A (H1N1)pdm0. That’s a considerable risk reduction that you should definitely take.
2. A Barrier Against Influenza B
As type B flu evolves slower than type A flu viruses, it’s sometimes less common during the flu season. Because of this, some believe that this type of flu is milder than the A strains.
However, scientists say that some type B strains are more potent than certain type A strains, such as H1N1. They also say that these type B viruses can be as virulent or dangerous as type A flu. Moreover, studies have found a link between potent type B flu strains and severe diseases.
The great news is that the CDC says the flu vaccine can be at least 50% effective against type B/Victoria flu viruses. As such, getting vaccinated can help you avoid the flu, be it type A or type B.
3. Helps Reduce Severity of Flu Symptoms
Keep in mind that a flu shot isn’t 100% effective in preventing flu infections. However, recent studies found that it can still reduce existing infection severity. So, even if you do get the flu, the vaccine can help keep the worst symptoms at bay.
4. Helps Lower Risks of Flu Hospitalizations
Every year, flu infections result in about 4.3 to 21 million outpatient visits. That’s on top of the 140,000 to 810,000 hospitalizations that flu viruses cause. Many of these are due to the B/Victoria viruses, while others result from H1N1 infections.
Flu infections land people in hospitals as they can cause breathing difficulty. They can also cause chest pain, severe abdominal pain, and even non-stop vomiting. In many cases, patients who have it the worst are those who haven’t had a flu shot.
As mentioned above, the flu vaccine can help reduce flu symptom severity. So, the less severe your symptoms, the lower your odds of requiring hospitalization.
Reap the Benefits of the Flu Shot by Getting Vaccinated Today
There you have it, everything you need to know about the benefits of the flu shot. It’s the single best way to avoid influenza infections. Even if it doesn’t prevent you from getting the flu, it can still help ease your symptoms.
So, as early as now, call your doctor to schedule your flu vaccination.
Looking for more health and wellness tips like this? Then be sure to check out our many other news and blog posts!