As the seasons change so does the emergence of cold and flu season. We can proactively protect ourselves and loved ones from these common seasonal illnesses by getting the flu vaccine.
Getting a flu shot is one of the best ways to stay healthier during cold and flu season. And if you haven’t gotten yours yet this year, it’s not too late. Our team at AssociatesMD offers flu vaccinations, and we’re here to help you understand why annual flu shots are so important.
The common cold and the flu are both viral respiratory infections. While you can catch them any time of the year, they’re more common in the winter months. In fact, flu season starts in October and peaks from December to February, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Several factors contribute to this seasonal pattern:
People tend to spend more time indoors during the winter. Close indoor proximity and increased contact provide ample opportunity for viruses to spread.
Winter air tends to be drier, which can make it easier for viruses to survive and thrive. Dry air can also irritate your respiratory system, making you more susceptible to infections.
Research shows that your body’s immune system's response may be weaker in cold temperatures. That means your body is less effective at fighting off infections, and you may be more likely to catch a cold or the flu.
Winter brings shorter days and less sunlight. As a result, your body produces less vitamin D. Vitamin D plays a crucial role in immune function, and a deficiency can leave you more vulnerable to infections.
Winter is prime time for colds and the flu, but that doesn’t mean getting sick is inevitable. Getting a flu shot each year helps you stay healthier and protects those around you from getting sick.
The flu vaccine stimulates your immune system to create antibodies that fight the virus if you're exposed to it. While the flu shot can’t guarantee you’ll never get sick, it significantly lowers your risk.
If you do get the flu after getting a flu shot, it can reduce the severity of your symptoms and your risk of serious complications. That means you'll be less likely to experience a severe, life-disrupting flu or hospitalization.
Certain groups, including seniors and young children, are at a higher risk of flu-related complications. By getting vaccinated, you not only protect yourself but also these vulnerable populations.
When more people in a community are vaccinated, it creates a shield of protection for those who cannot receive the vaccine. This concept is known as “herd immunity” and helps prevent the spread of the flu in the wider population.
If you haven't received your flu shot, don't worry – it's not too late! Flu season typically peaks in the middle of winter, so getting vaccinated in November or even December still provides valuable protection.
Learn more and schedule your flu shot appointment at one of our seven AssociatesMD offices in Plantation, Davie, Weston, Margate, Dania Beach, and Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. Call the office nearest you or request an appointment online today.