With winter officially at the half way point, many are wondering whether or not it is too late for the influenza vaccination. According to Dr. Anne Schuchat, getting the shot is still a good idea. Dr. Schuchat holds the position of Assistant Surgeon General at the U.S. Public Health Service. In her advised opinion, people who still have not received the vaccination ought to go ahead and have it done now. Many healthcare professionals say it is not to late to protect yourself and your family against influenza, and they suggest the best way to do that is to get the vaccine.
Flu season or Influenza season has not yet reached its peak. A typical flu season will peak during February and can potentially last into May. Because there is no way to tell just how long the influenza season will last, professionals say it is better to be safe than sorry. After receiving the shot it takes two to four weeks before the body is ready for combat. So if someone were to get a flu shot now there is a good chance they can avoid the flu surge. Health care professionals agree that there are numerous advantages to getting a flu shot. By this time, the benefits of vaccination are well-known, yet half of Americans still have not received the vaccine.
As many positive reasons as have been presented, people seem to come up with just as many reasons for not receiving the influenza vaccination. People are busy. They can’t get over the myths. They do not need it because they are healthy. They are in charge of their own decisions and they could get sick anyway. All are valid to a point. Healthcare professionals have been adamant, however, about the safety of the influenza vaccine and the importance of community prevention. The question lingers as to why so many are still not listening.
Within the last month, news of the flu heating up has sparked an increase in influenza vaccinations. This late response is still a good idea, though it indicates a tendency in Americans to have the New England “blizzard” mentality. That is a colloquial term which means that even though a storm is clearly coming, there is still no urgency to get milk and food into the house. It usually lasts until the first flakes fall. It may also suggest that Americans are simply gamblers. Heads I get a flu shot, tails I don’t.
Healthcare in general is a mess right now, with the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) yet influenza vaccinations is one thing that officials give assurances is covered by all plans included. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), since the Influenza outbreak in 2009, national vaccination levels have slightly increased: that is, it had until now. A lack of response to continued urging of Influenza vaccination could also be a trickle down effect of a mismanaged, misunderstood healthcare system which people still show a reluctance to trust. People are uneasy about everything to do with health care right now. The costs, the practices, and the administration thereof are constantly being called into question.
Even so, experts agree that it is not too late for the flu shot. Influenza vaccination clearly helps to limit complications from the disease, and can protect loved ones at a relatively affordable cost. Whether procrastination or gambling, chances are that for those that have not yet come to the decision to get the shot, nothing will convince them that it is a good idea.
By Shannon Malone