Health & Diet

Don’t Skip Your Flu Shot This Year

By Lola Augustine Brown

Photo: iStock/Jovanmandic.

If you’re on the fence about getting your flu shot, this is not going to be a good year to opt out of it. The experts say the flu season ahead could be especially rough.

Reports from the southern hemisphere, where the flu season precedes ours, are that the flu hit harder this year. In Australia, two-and-a-half times more cases were confirmed than last year. A big worry for health officials is that we’re already seeing a strain of Influenza A, which is especially bad for older patients, resulting in more complications and trips to the hospital.

Photo: iStock/ TheModernCanvas.

Matching the vaccine to the specific strain or strains of flu doctors are trying to deal with can be a challenge, but even if the vaccine available this year isn’t a perfect match, it’s likely to offer enough protection that even if the flu finds you, you’ll end up with a milder case. A serious case can be fatal for some people, especially the elderly or those who aren’t in the best of health.

Be sure to get your flu shot. Check with your doctor’s office. You may even be able to get your shot at your local pharmacy—and free of charge.