Why You (Yes, You!) Need a Flu Shot
Even though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) now recommends it for everyone 6 months and older, nearly 70 percent of Americans ages 18 to 49 didn't get a flu shot last year. Here are three reasons to step up this year:
You can't afford to be sick. Do you really want to spend a week or more violently ill, missing work or scrambling for child care? "Even if your child is vaccinated, he could still bring the virus home from school or a playdate, and you'll be exposed," says Neil Schachter, M.D., medical director of the respiratory-care department at Mount Sinai Medical Center, in New York City.
You'll protect your unborn baby. If you're pregnant, new studies show that getting the shot will give your baby antibodies that will guard him for months after he's born. That's key since infants under 6 months old can't get the vaccine, and they're at higher risk for serious flu complications.
Your kids' protection isn't as strong as yours. Even if your children are vaccinated, their immunity fades faster than yours, so your shot offers an extra layer of protection during that time. It will also make it a lot easier for you to care for them if they do get the flu.