The flu season is definitely here to stay for a while. New reports on influenza infections are trending in Malaysia and just about last week, up to 22 people were infected with Influenza A while two people were hospitalised in Selangor alone, according to a report in the New Straits Times. So, why not take precaution, and get yourself and family the flu vaccine?
It may seem that you don’t need a flu shot, but as the recent seasons’ viciousness proves, the flu can be serious, especially to pregnant women, children under 5 years old, adults over 65, and people with health conditions (like asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease).
According to the Malaysia Influenza Working Group (MIWG):
- Older persons account for 90% of all flu-related deaths. Their lungs and immune systems have weakened with age, thus making them susceptible to secondary infections, like pneumonia. Those with certain chronic health conditions are also more likely to develop a stroke, heart attack, diabetic emergencies, and respiratory failure as a result of the flu. Getting vaccinated would significantly reduce their risk of flu and shape a more optimistic outlook for our senior citizens.
- Flu viruses are constantly mutating and tend to circulate during the winter months in temperate countries before quickly spreading to the rest of the world, thanks to the millions of travellers who traverse the globe each day. Getting a flu vaccination every year helps ensure we are protected from the latest circulating viruses.
“Getting a flu shot is the most effective way to protect yourself and your family from catching the flu,” says Papatya Tankut, a registered pharmacist and vice president of pharmacy affairs at CVS Health. Why risk it?
When is the best time to get a flu shot?
“You want to ensure you have protection before the season arrives-as early as October-and still be protected through the end of the season, which can be as late as May,” says Darria Long Gillespie, M.D., an ER doctor and author of Mom Hacks.
That’s right, the best to receive a flu shot is before the start of the season. If you wait until people in your office start getting sick to get your shot, it might already be too late. “It takes two weeks for you to build an immunity to the virus,” says Dr. Gillespie. And during that window, you’re still susceptible to getting sick. “You want to have ample time so that you’re protected before the first wave of the flu illness starts to hit,” she says. In other words, it pays to be prepared.