Facts about the Flu Shot for Men’s Health | Men’s Best
You’re a pretty tough guy. You don’t get sick that often (that you know of). And you’ve heard that a flu vaccine is not a 100% guarantee you won’t catch the flu. You’ve even heard rumors it can give you the flu. Is that true? What’s in a flu shot? Why should you bother? And is it too late to get one this year?
Here are the facts about the flu shot and flu prevention, so you can make a wise, informed decision about your health.
You’re doing it for them.
Kids. Spouse. Mom and dad. Co-workers. Clients and patients. People you sit next to on the bus or train. The mom of three you pass your grocery cart to at H.E.B.
The first reason we tell men to get a flu shot is so that they can protect the people around them from the virus.
These groups are especially susceptible to flu, and to developing life-threatening complications:
- The elderly
- Pregnant women
- Women who have recently given birth
- Those with chronic health conditions
- Those with compromised immune systems
Don’t pass it to them, and don’t pass it to their caretakers.
To maximize effectiveness, we recommend that men get their flu shots between August and October. But if it’s flu season, it’s not too late for a flu shot.
Here’s the point to remember:
Flu can be dangerous and even deadly. It’s just plain responsible—toward neighbors, friends, and strangers, not to mention those you care about and love—to do what you can to not pass it on.
You avoid the doctor with prevention.
It’s not always easy to make time to see the doctor and we know that, which is why we try to make it easy. But another way to make it easy is to reduce the number of illness-related visits you need to make.
So Why Should I get the Flu Shot annually?
When you commit yourself to an annual flu shot, you’re helping reduce instances of flu-related illness and hospitalization nationwide
In 2016-2017, flu vaccination prevented 2.6 million related doctor’s visits and 85,000 hospitalizations. As much as we love to see you, we’d rather see you for prevention than flu symptoms. We encourage all of our patients at Men’s Best to think about the long game–preventative care–when they can, which is why we encourage annual vlu vaccines.
When you commit yourself to an annual flu shot, you’re helping reduce instances of flu-related illness and hospitalization nationwide.
In 2016-2017, flu vaccination prevented 2.6 million related doctor’s visits and 85,000 hospitalizations. As much as we love to see you, we’d rather see you for prevention than flu symptoms. We encourage all of our patients at Men’s Best to think about the long game—preventative care—when they can, which is why we encourage annual flu vaccines.
Schedule an appointment online for no wait time.
Questions you might have:
What’s in a flu shot? How does it work?
The flu vaccine works like a decoy. To your immune system, it looks enough like a live virus to generate the appropriate fighting responses in your body. The “decoy” will either be:
- An inactivated flu virus (“dead” virus)
- One single gene of the flu virus
Can a flu shot give me the flu? I’ve heard it can.
That is false. Flu vaccines do not give you the flu. Some people experience flu-like symptoms after the vaccine. That may be because:
- You contracted the flu in the 2-week window. It takes two weeks for the vaccine to take full effect. Before the 2-week vaccine activation period is complete, it is still possible to catch the flu.
- You caught a strain of the flu not covered by your vaccine. The flu virus is a highly adaptable creature. Each year the vaccine may change in order to cover newly developed strains. A good vaccine provider will use the most current vaccine. This year’s vaccine has been designed as well as possible to match this year’s known strains of the flu.
- You feel a little “off” as your body produces antibodies. A vaccine mimics the actual virus, so your body gets to work building up antibodies to fight against it. That way if the real thing comes along, your body’s already been put on high alert and has the resources to prevent illness. That hard work of producing antibodies can produce flu-like symptoms in some people.
- You have a health condition. A health condition (such as diabetes, obesity, and asthma) can make it easier for you to contract the flu even with the vaccine. Flu can also quickly become more serious and unpredictable in cases where illness is already present. This means that even if a flu shot is not a 100% guarantee of not getting the flu, it can still decrease serious risk. Better safe than sorry.
Only a very small percentage of people have allergic reactions to flu shots. Men with egg allergies should speak to their primary care doctor before getting a flu shot.
I don’t mind the flu that much. Why bother?
Maybe you don’t mind a few days recovering in bed. Maybe there’s a part of you that enjoys getting pampered, eating soup, and catching up on Netflix. That’s fine. But the flu is unpredictable. You don’t know how the symptoms will develop in you, much less in those whose immune systems might be weaker.
If it’s not 100%, why bother?
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an annual flu shot reduces an adult’s chances of getting the flu by 40-60% on average. This depends on many factors, including an individual’s health, current strains of the flu, and the development of current vaccines.
So why do it?
A flu vaccine is not a waste of your time—ever. Think of it as “health cost savings.” It’s easy and affordable preventative care that costs you little, causes minor discomfort and has potentially life-saving benefits for you and those around you. It’s more affordable than treatment/hospitalization for an illness, days missed from work, and cost to your household. And the total “cost savings” only multiplies with the number of people you protect.
What do I Need to Know, Now?
- To maximize effectiveness, we recommend that men get their flu shots between August and October. But if it’s flu season, it’s not too late for a flu shot.
- Flu vaccines do not give you the flu though some people experience flu-like symptoms after the vaccine.
- Schedule an appointment online for no wait time.