There’s nothing worse than getting sick during the holidays.

Unfortunately, however, this is often the case – especially for people who lead such fast-paced lives they easily succumb to a cold or flu bug the moment they’re finally able to slow down a little and relax.
That’s why, each year, a priority for everyone should be to get the seasonal flu shot.

Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization advises all Canadians six months and older to get a flu shot because vaccination is one of the most effective preventive measures a person can take. And, by partaking, you’re less likely to be one of the 20,000 hospitalizations or 2,000 to 8,000 deaths blamed on the flu each year.

Considering how contagious the flu can be, not only does the flu shot protect oneself, but it can also help control the spread of the illness to other.

Still, there are some people who fail to do get the flu shot, either purposely or out of sheer ignorance. For those who don’t know any better or who possess the “I never get sick” attitude, please educate yourselves. Again, seasonal influenza is a contagious respiratory illness caused by the influenza virus. It is easily caught and easily spread. Influenza typically starts with a headache, chills and cough, followed rapidly by fever, loss of appetite, muscle aches and fatigue, running nose, sneezing, watery eyes and throat irritation – and it can affect anyone.

Influenza also lowers the body’s ability to fight off other infections which can lead to pneumonia, bronchitis or other complications. In addition, influenza can worsen a current medical condition such as diabetes, lung disease, heart disease, kidney disease or cancer.

As for the people who simply refuse to get the flu shot because of a disbelief in vaccinations, perhaps you would do well to give your heads a shake. Medical science has proven about 70 to 90 per cent of healthy people who get a flu shot will be protected from the virus, while those who do become ill usually experience milder symptoms.

To put it quite simply, the benefits of prevention outweigh the risks with a flu shot. Rarely, people will experience allergic reaction. More often, they will experience no side effects or perhaps soreness, redness, or swelling at the spot where the shot was given. Contrary to myth, a flu shot cannot cause the flu, since it never contains any live virus.

Santa Claus arrives in less than 10 days, and it’s probably safe to say no one as ever or will ever add the flu to their Christmas wish list. Book your flu shot today or attend one of several clinics offered in your community because the gift of good health is one you can only give yourself.