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What are the benefits of a flu shot?

There are many benefits to getting a flu shot each year.

  • How well a flu shot works can vary, but in general getting a flu vaccine can keep you from getting sick with flu.
  • Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of being admitted to the hospital because of the flu, especially in children and older adults.A 2014 study showed that flu vaccine reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74% during the 2010-2012 flu seasons. Another study published in the summer of 2016 showed that adults age 50 and older who got a flu vaccine reduced their risk of flu-related hospital stays by 57%.
  • Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions. Vaccination has been linked to lower rates of some cardiac events in people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year. Flu vaccination also has been shown to be reduce hospitalizations among people with diabetes and chronic lung disease.
  • Vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy. Getting vaccinated also can protect a baby after birth from flu. Mom passes antibodies onto the developing fetus during her pregnancy. A study that looked at how well the flu vaccines worked in pregnant women found that vaccination reduced the risk of flu-related acute respiratory infection by about one half. Other studies show that flu vaccinations in pregnant women can reduce the risk of flu illness in babies by up to 50%. This protective benefit was observed for up to four months after birth.
  • Flu vaccination also may make your flu symptoms milder if you do get sick.
  • Getting vaccinated yourself also protects people around you, including those who are more vulnerable to serious flu illness, such as babies and young children, older people and people with certain chronic health conditions.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.