The Importance of Flu Shots

Flu season occurs every year in the fall and winter, but peaks between December and February in the United States. While the CDC recommends that adults and children older than 6 months get a flu shot by the end of October, there is still time to protect you and your family. 

Why do you need the flu shot? 

The flu can cause serious complications that can require hospitalization like pneumonia, dehydration, or even worsening of other chronic illnesses. Not only will the flu shot give you better protection against being infected with the influenza virus, but even if you do still get infected, the vaccine can reduce the severity of your illness.  

But why do you need to get a shot every year?   

Flu viruses are quick to mutate so last year’s vaccine may no longer offer you protection from this year’s viruses. By doing so, your immune system is able produce new antibodies which will protect you from the latest strain of viruses.  

In addition to the viruses mutating, an individual’s immune protection from vaccination does decline over time. An annual vaccine provides for the best protection for the community.  

Take advantage of yearly check-ups or other doctor visits by asking to receive your vaccine during your appointment. If you don’t have a visit schedule, be sure to find a location near you to get you and your family vaccinated.  

Who should get vaccinated? 

 The CDC recommends that anyone 6 months or older to get an annual influenza vaccine. This is extremely important for individuals at high risk for complications if infected with the flu, including:  

  • Pregnant women 

  • Older adults 

  • Young children 

  • Immunocompromised individuals  

Read more information on flu viruses today. 

At Starlight, we know how important vaccinations are to not only protect ourselves, but to protect the vulnerable individuals within our population – which often includes Starlight kids, who may be facing severe or chronic illnesses and are more susceptible to viruses. When making the decision to get your child vaccinated, remember that you are working to keep your child and other children around them safe and healthy. 

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