Last winter, approximately 80,000 Americans died from flu-related complications. Dr. Mikhail Varshavski, famously known as “Dr. Mike,” explained to Yahoo Finance why it is crucial for individuals to get a flu shot to vaccinate properly.
The Mayo Clinic recommends that anyone over the age of 6 months should become vaccinated, particularly pregnant women, the elderly, and young children. It is also encouraged that those with chronic illnesses are at a higher risk of developing the flu should they not be inoculated.
‘Think about old people, think about young people’ and your flu shot
“Those people who get the flu shot not only protect themselves from getting the flu or reducing their likelihood of developing the flu, but those around them,” Dr. Mike said. “Think about old people, think about young people, those with immune system problems. They can’t really protect themselves well against the flu, so by you limiting the spread of the flu and getting vaccinated, you’re helping protect them as well.”
According to the CDC, flu shots “cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are in the vaccine.”
“Thankfully, in the US, we have them available and we should stop listening to misinformation online and in the media that’s encouraging us to skip vaccines,” Dr. Mike said.
‘The cost of the vaccine is truly minuscule’
The CDC states that there are two different kinds of flu vaccines: trivalent and quadrivalent. Trivalent vaccines will protect you against H1N1 virus, H3N2 virus, and an influenza B virus. Quadrivalent vaccines protect against the previous three, along with an additional B virus.
For those with insurance, a flu shot is free. According to CNBC, “the Affordable Care Act required insurers to cover the cost of patients’ flu shots without charging a copay, although some insurers only cover vaccines given by doctors or at certain locations.”
Those who pay out of pocket typically spend between $20 to $70.
“The cost of the vaccine is truly minuscule when you think about the benefits you’re getting from an opportunity-cost standpoint,” Dr. Mike said. “If you’re going to miss several days of work — and you will — with high fevers, body aches, nausea, and vomiting … you’re going to be losing out on a lot more money and productivity if you don’t get the flu shot.”
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