National Influenza Vaccination Week: What You Need to Know
By Dona Hill
The National Flu Vaccination Week is an event focused on promoting national awareness on the importance and benefits of getting vaccinated against influenza. In 2020, it’ll be observed from December 6 to 12.
What Is Flu?
It’s considered as a respiratory illness that’s generally caused by influenza viruses. It’s contagious.
While most cases of flu are mild to severe, there are times that it can lead to death. Flu can affect any person, regardless of age, sex, race, and health status.
People who are 65 years and older are more vulnerable to it. Those who are diagnosed with chronic medical conditions like heart diseases, diabetes, and asthma are also at risk of acquiring it.
Take note that the flu is different from a cold. It usually comes on suddenly along with the following symptoms:
- Sore throat
- Body aches
- Runny nose
Flu isn’t the same as COVID-19. Although some of their symptoms are the same, COVID-19 comes with other signs and symptoms like loss of smell and taste.
Additionally, a person infected with COVID-19 develops symptoms around 5 days after the infection. The symptoms can appear as early as the 2nd day after infection or as late as the 14th day. In comparison, the symptoms of flu appear from the 1st to 4th day after infection.
Because these things can be quite confusing for people with no medical background, it’s important to reach out to a healthcare professional if you feel that something’s wrong with you.
There’s a long list of FDA-licensed vaccines you can get for the flu. When it comes to COVID-19, experts are still trying to develop vaccines for it.
How Can Influenza Vaccination Help You
Flu vaccination is supposed to keep you from getting sick with the flu. Apart from that, it can also help prevent serious health complications that come with certain chronic conditions.
For example, getting vaccinated has been linked with lower rates of some cardiac events in patients diagnosed with heart disease. Additionally, it’s also been found helpful in reducing hospitalizations among patients with chronic lung disease as well as diabetes.
In a 2018 study, it was found out that a flu shot may help reduce a women’s risk of being hospitalized due to flu while pregnant. The average was about 40%.
In addition to preventing complications and getting sick, flu vaccination also serves as a way to protect others. If you are in contact with vulnerable people, like babies and older people, you might want to consider getting vaccinated. It’s also important if you’re always around people with chronic health issues.
What Happens When You Get Vaccinated
It’ll take about two weeks after vaccination before antibodies are formed in your body. These antibodies will protect you against possible influenza virus protection.
Take note that flu viruses are dynamic. They are always changing. Apart from that, you should also keep in mind that the immunity you get from it declines over time. To keep yourself protected, you’ll need to get the vaccine annually.