Did you get your flu vaccination yet? How about today?

There you were sitting on the beach. Where does the time go? Summer is over now and the leaves are starting to fall. I got my flu shot yesterday. How about you?

Influenza vaccine as your doctor would call it, was somewhat controversial recently as the predominant strain didn't match well to the strains in the flu shot. This can happen. No one can control this. Each year flu strains are chosen on a best science estimate of the future. Scientific wild guess? Maybe for cynics, but a reasonable, rational attempt to prevent problems and as you know, it's always better to prevent a disease or condition than to have to treat it.

The CDC recommends flu vaccine for everyone more than 6 months old without a specific reason not to get it (contraindication). This even includes pregnant women. There was important data from the 2013 season that showed that for seniors (a study of Medicare claims data for 930,000 high-dose shots for those over 65), the high-dose gave about a 22% lower rate of flu and flu-related hospitalizations. Important outcomes to be sure.

I think most clinicians would suggest quadrivalent vaccine when it's available. You'll remember that there is a nasal spray, regular shot and high-dose shot depending on how old you are. My decision was based on my opinion that the benefits outweigh the risks for me, I have a history of heart disease (and there are data to show that flu shots can actually help prevent heart attacks-especially for those with recent acute coronory syndrome) and I just do not want to get sick. At the very least, the shot will challenge my immune system and at best will protect me 80% of the time or make it so I have a much less sever flu case if I do come down with the flu.

Always better to prevent any disease or condition. Have a family talk about flu vaccine and get it done. Become a powerful person and maximize your chances to avoid being  a flu patient.

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