Five Good Reasons to Get the Flu Shot

Millions of people get a flu vaccine in the fall as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the American Medical Association and other professional medical groups. But many people don’t, believing it doesn’t work or will make them sick. 

If you’re thinking about skipping a flu shot this season, Madai Chardon-Borrero, MD, a primary care physician at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center, encourages you to reconsider. Here are five reasons why.

  1. Not only can the flu vaccine keep you from getting the flu, it may make your illness milder if you do get sick.  
  2. Getting vaccinated benefits everyone around you. “The flu virus spreads easily—you can contract it when an infected person coughs, talks or sneezes. You can also get the flu by touching something that has the virus germs on it, then touching your eyes, nose or mouth,” notes Dr. Chardon-Borrero. 
  3. Some people are at greater risk of getting seriously ill from the flu, like pregnant women, older adults, and people with chronic health conditions. If you fall into one of these categories, the vaccine can help protect you. “Flu symptoms can lead to dehydration, the worsening of chronic illnesses, bacterial pneumonia, ear or sinus infections, and in severe cases, death,” says Dr. Chardon-Borrero. “Every year, about 200,000 people are hospitalized because of the flu.”  
  4. The flu shot is safe and it can’t give you the flu. The flu vaccine is formulated from dead or inactive viruses, so it can’t make you sick. If you do get sick, chances are you were exposed to the virus before getting the shot or you picked up a virus not included in the vaccine. 
  5. Last year’s vaccination won’t protect you this year. “The flu is a virus that changes from year to year,” Dr. Chardon-Borrero explains. “The vaccine is reformulated annually to protect against strains of the virus predicted by the CDC to be most widespread.”  

Children 6 months or older and most adults should get vaccinated against the flu annually. Flu season usually starts in October and can last until May, so it is  important to get vaccinated early. “Getting the shot is the single best way for nearly everyone to prevent the flu,” says Dr. Chardon-Borrero.

 

Featured in Discover Fall 2017 Magazine

Location Information

To schedule an appointment, please call 443-777-8300

MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center
9000 Franklin Square Drive
Baltimore, MD 21237

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The Primary Care Center is located on the 2nd floor of the hospital.

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Patient appointment hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

We are closed on major holidays.

Free blood pressure checks are offered every Tuesday afternoon 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. for established patients.

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