While this post is sponsored by CVS MinuteClinic; all opinions are my own.
Let’s debate (peacefully please) flu shots! Do you get them for yourself? Do your kids get them? Why or why not?
I asked this question earlier in the month on Facebook and received a wide range of replies. Many of you swear by the flu shot and get them every year for your entire family; while others are anti-vaccinations and never get the flu shot. I can respect both sides of this debate.
Fact: This is the first year that I can ever remember getting the flu shot myself.
Fact: My children almost always receive the flu shot; although we haven’t made it in to the doctors for them yet this year.
Fact: My husband almost always gets the flu shot at work.
Why did I decide to get a flu shot this year, but never have in the past? I’m sure as a child and young adult that there were years when I probably received it; I just don’t remember. The last time I actually had the flu was when I was 21 and it put me out of commission for over a week. It was miserable! You would think that after that experience that I would have received the flu shot every year; but it never crossed my mind.
Earlier this month I was having a new patient consult with my new primary care doctor. I was going over my medical history and my long list of ailments and conditions, when she asked me if I was going to get the flu shot. I explained to her that I’ve never gotten it myself; but that I wasn’t against it either. I asked additional information about the type of flu shot and why she recommended it for me. After our discussion, I decided that it was in my best interest to get the flu shot that day. Thankfully, I’m not afraid of needles and shots.
I have had asthma since I was a child. It’s worse in the Fall and Winter when the weather begins to change. As a child, I had pneumonia 2-3 times (I was hospitalized for it two years in a row around Halloween) and was very susceptible to bronchitis. I remember my younger brother having to Trick-or-Treat for me because I was too sick to go out with him. As I got older, my immune system has been much stronger but I still fear getting sick because I know how much more difficult it is for me to recover. As an adult, getting that sick would be beyond miserable! There are too many people who rely on me; from work to my family.
What is the flu? The flu is a respiratory infection caused by a virus. Symptoms include fever, headache, sore throat, dry cough, and aches. You can actually be contagious 1 day before you start to even feel any symptoms and will be contagious for up to 5-7 days. Senior citizens, young children, pregnant women, and people with asthma or diabetes are most susceptible to the flu.
Aren’t there natural ways to prevent getting the flu?
There are natural ways to help prevent getting the flu; but they don’t keep you from being exposed to the flu. Germs are everywhere! You and your family are exposed to germs and sick people at school, work, while shopping, at church, at girl scouts, and anywhere you go! While you can eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep – you still run the risk of exposure. We should be teaching our children to wash their hands regularly and to cover their mouth and nose when they cough. These are all good hygiene skills we should practice daily; but unless you lock yourself in the house from October through January, you are going to be exposed to the flu!
CVS MinuteClinics offer the flu shots in all their locations for children ages 18 months through adults. The flu shot is covered by most health insurance; including Medicare Part B. For children 6-18 months, you should always consult your child’s pediatrician about the flu shot. For those patients choosing to get their flu shots with CVS MinuteClinics, you’ll receive a 20% off shopping pass for CVS. You could use that to stock up on vitamins and tissues!!
I’d love to hear from you, in the comments below tell me how you feel about the flu shot. Do you and your family get the flu shot each year? Why or why not?
Learn more about the flu at: www.cdc.gov/flu and MinuteClinic’s vaccination offerings at: http://bit.ly/ZQZVDn You can also follow @MinuteClinic on social media and follow the #FluPlus hashtag.
Disclosure: I have received promotional consideration from MinuteClinic.