Flu shots are worth it

December 28, 2016

(HealthDay)—The flu can be a serious threat to your health, but you can protect yourself by getting a flu shot, health experts say.

"The can reduce the risk of hospitalization and severe disease due to the in addition to reducing the incidence or severity," said Kevin Harrod. He's a professor in the department of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The is especially beneficial to children, the elderly, people with underlying chronic disease, such as heart disease, and women during and after pregnancy, he added.

About 970,000 Americans were hospitalized due to the flu in 2014, and more than 40 million were affected by flu-related illnesses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During recent flu seasons, up to 90 percent of flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 and older.

This year's vaccine protects against that experts predict will be most common. Those include two influenza A viruses (H1N1 and H3N2) and select influenza B viruses, Harrod said.

"While getting the flu shot may not keep you from getting the flu, it will limit the severity and duration of the illness, and provide you with some protection against future infections in subsequent seasons," Harrod said in a university news release.

Even when the vaccine is a "bad match" for the flu strains that develop, it offers partial protection, he added.

"One's immune system can make antibodies that still recognize and bind to the influenza virus even when new strains emerge unexpectedly," Harrod explained.

Explore further: There's still time for your flu shot

More information: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on flu vaccination.

Related Stories

There's still time for your flu shot

December 23, 2016
(HealthDay)—Flu needn't spoil the start of the new year, say U.S. health officials who urge children and adults to get vaccinated.

Expert advises preparing for flu season now

September 13, 2016
The news that the nasal spray form of the influenza vaccine will not be available this year should not stop anyone from getting vaccinated against the flu virus, according to an expert at Baylor College of Medicine's Influenza ...

There's still time to get a flu shot

February 5, 2014
(HealthDay)—It's still not too late to get a flu shot, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday.

CDC tweaking flu vaccine for better protection

June 5, 2015
(HealthDay)—Having acknowledged that the 2014-2015 flu vaccine was mismatched to the circulating influenza strains, U.S. health officials have ramped up next season's shots for broader protection.

It's not too late to get a flu shot

December 30, 2015
(HealthDay)—Anyone who hasn't had a flu shot this season should make a point to get vaccinated now, U.S. health officials advise.

A mild flu season, and the end is in sight: CDC

April 12, 2016
(HealthDay)—This year's flu season may not quite be over, but it's clearly winding down and will be recorded as a relatively mild one, U.S. health officials say.

Recommended for you

Google searches can be used to track dengue in underdeveloped countries

July 20, 2017
An analytical tool that combines Google search data with government-provided clinical data can quickly and accurately track dengue fever in less-developed countries, according to new research published in PLOS Computational ...

MRSA emerged years before methicillin was even discovered

July 19, 2017
Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) emerged long before the introduction of the antibiotic methicillin into clinical practice, according to a study published in the open access journal Genome Biology. It was ...

New test distinguishes Zika from similar viral infections

July 18, 2017
A new test is the best-to-date in differentiating Zika virus infections from infections caused by similar viruses. The antibody-based assay, developed by researchers at UC Berkeley and Humabs BioMed, a private biotechnology ...

'Superbugs' study reveals complex picture of E. coli bloodstream infections

July 18, 2017
The first large-scale genetic study of Escherichia coli (E. coli) cultured from patients with bloodstream infections in England showed that drug resistant 'superbugs' are not always out-competing other strains. Research by ...

Ebola virus can persist in monkeys that survived disease, even after symptoms disappear

July 17, 2017
Ebola virus infection can be detected in rhesus monkeys that survive the disease and no longer show symptoms, according to research published by Army scientists in today's online edition of the journal Nature Microbiology. ...

Mountain gorillas have herpes virus similar to that found in humans

July 13, 2017
Scientists from the University of California, Davis, have detected a herpes virus in wild mountain gorillas that is very similar to the Epstein-Barr virus in humans, according to a study published today in the journal Scientific ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.