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Flu season is in full swing. Are you and your loved ones ready? According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, each year approximately 5 percent to 20 percent of people in the United States get the flu.
Flu season can begin as early as October and peaks in January or later, so now is a good time to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the flu vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine each year.
“There are many things you do to stay healthy, like eat well, exercise and see your doctor for regular check-ups. There's something else you can do—keep up with your vaccinations to help protect yourself from certain diseases," says Beth Battaglino, R.N. and CEO of HealthyWomen.
The CDC recommends vaccines to help prevent more than 15 diseases throughout your lifetime and has vaccination schedules that cover children, preteens, teens and adults. Every year in the United States, over 400,000 people are hospitalized for treatment of certain diseases for which there are vaccines. “Vaccines aren't just for little kids; they play an important role in helping people maintain health and wellness throughout a lifetime. Keeping up with recommended vaccines helps protect you and your family," says Battaglino. In addition to asking about the flu vaccine, ask your healthcare provider if other vaccines are recommended for you and your loved ones. Find out which vaccines may be covered by your health insurance plan.
By increasing awareness and education about vaccines, you can help protect yourself and your family from certain infectious diseases.