Contributor: Dr. Paul Sax is Clinical Director of the HIV Program and Division of Infectious Disease at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Lisa Owens is Medical Director of BWH Primary Physicians.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than half of adults (aged 18 years and older) received a flu vaccine in recent years. Obviously, some of us still need convincing about the need for flu vaccination.
Here are five reasons why you should get your flu shot this year:
1. The flu is more serious than you may realize
According to a study by the CDC, more than 200,000 people in the United States, on average, are hospitalized each year for illnesses associated with seasonal influenza virus infections. The flu can also be deadly. From 1976 to 2006, estimates of annual flu-associated deaths in the United States ranged from 3,000 to nearly 49,000 people.
Certain groups of adults are at higher risk for serious illness and complications from the flu, including:
- People with chronic conditions such as asthma and diabetes.
- People with heart disease and those who have had a stroke.
- Adults 65 and older.
- Pregnant women.
- People who have HIV or AIDS.
- People who have cancer.