One of the most important things you can do for your health is to make sure your vaccines are up to date. There have been so many changes and advances in the vaccine world the last 10 years, and yet still, many people have questions and concerns about vaccine safety. One vaccine that we highly recommend that every person, up to age 100, gets annually is a flu vaccine every fall. The vaccine changes each year and immunity wanes, so getting one each year is important. Myths that the vaccine causes the flu have been debunked over and over, and waiting until the height of flu-season hits in the winter will guarantee that a few of you will already have the flu when you get your vaccine (hence the myth). Don’t wait!
Pediatricians often start offering flu vaccine as early as September. What used to be a predictable time of the year for flu (mid-winter) has become more unpredictable, so it is best to get the vaccine early –we recommend before November. Remember that vaccines are the safest medicine we practice. If you have questions about vaccine safety, ask the expert who has done years of homework: your doctor. Influenza costs many families many days missed from work and school, and it can put elderly relatives and neighbors in serious health jeopardy. Don’t let that happen to the people you love. Flu is no fun, but it can be easily and safely prevented.
By: Helen Bertrand, MD, a Roper St. Francis Physician Partner and a pediatrician at Stono Pediatrics