Why You Should Get a Flu Vaccination
Getting the flu is no fun, and it can be far more serious than just keeping you away from the office for a few days. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized due to the flu—and as many as 56,000 people die from flu-related illnesses—every year. A simple, safe, and effective way to prevent these illnesses is to get the flu vaccination. Not only does the flu vaccine protect you from the flu, it protects the people around you and can help prevent other large-scale healthcare issues like the spread of antibiotic-resistant germs. In fact, Econometrica is currently working with CDC to teach people about the important role every vaccination plays in avoiding widespread antibiotic resistance.
In the United States, “flu season” commonly starts around October and ends as late as May. CDC recommends that everyone older than 6 months of age receive a flu vaccine every year. It’s not too late to get the flu vaccine for the 2017 season, so if you haven’t already been vaccinated, now is the time! It takes about 2 weeks after receiving your flu shot to be protected against the flu. View CDC’s table of recommended vaccinations for the 2017–2018 flu season.
There is a common misconception that getting the flu shot could cause a person to get the flu. This is not the case: The flu shot is made with either an inactive flu vaccination virus or with no flu virus at all—neither of which can give you the flu. While there is a possibility of experiencing minor side effects such as soreness around the area of the flu shot, fevers, and aches, these short-term side effects are minor compared to the effects of contracting the flu. If you are concerned about getting the flu shot, read CDC’s guide on who should get the flu shot and who should take precautions when considering flu immunization.
Econometrica has a history of working with partners in the health sector to increase flu immunization rates. Recently, we worked with the Health Services and Resources Administration to develop educational messaging about immunization for parents of young children.
Currently, Econometrica is working with the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) to develop two influenza vaccination quality measures for the Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE). These measures will encourage care providers to help program participants receive timely flu vaccinations every season and will work to ensure that the providers themselves are vaccinated against the flu to help keep their patients healthy. Visit the CMS website beginning on November 14 to read more about the details of these measures and to provide Econometrica and CMS with your thoughts during the public comment period.
If you have not gotten your flu vaccination, find a place to get one today! You do not need a doctor to get your flu shot, and there are many locations to get a flu vaccine. Use this online Vaccine Finder tool to find the vaccination location nearest to you.
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