Get a flu shot. Or (this year) get two. A simple vaccination against the flu can help save you hundreds of dollars.
Each year my husband, kids, and I all get flu shots. We’ve learned that while the flu shot cannot totally prevent you from getting the flu, it does significantly reduce the likelihood that you will get it, and if you do, it does reduce the symptoms and length of the illness.
I know a lot of people who scoff at the idea of getting flu shots. They offer weak excuses for not getting one: They’re too busy, they don’t want to spend the money, they think it doesn’t work, they say it makes them sick… the list goes on. The truth is that flu shots are affordable. And not getting one can be a costly mistake.
Think about it from a numbers standpoint: The average cost of a flu shot, which can help protect you from getting the flu and/or minimize the length/strength of symptoms is $10-$25. Some health insurance plans cover that cost completely.
Let’s say you don’t get the flu shot, and then you get influenza. At first you try to self-medicate with over-the-counter remedies at a cost of about $15. Then you miss a few days of work, costing you productivity (about $150-$200+/day). Then you are still miserable, so you go to visit your doctor ($30 for a co-pay to as much as $200 for an office visit). The doctor gives you a prescription ($10-$40). And hopefully that takes care of it… but if it gets worse, and you end up in the hospital, all of these numbers increase exponentially.
Not getting a flu shot could cost you hundreds of dollars. And consider what happens when multiple members of your family get the flu!
Talk about expensive! And dangerous: Thousands of people die from the flu each year. Is that a risk you’re willing to take?
The truth is you can’t get the flu from the shot, although a few people will get flu-like symptoms for about a day. And you can still get the flu even if you’ve had the shot, although it’s usually not as bad as if you didn’t get the vaccine. Dealing with those issues is still better than the 5-14 days it could take you to recover from the full-fledged flu.
Getting the shot only takes a minute and you can get one at clinics, hospitals, pharmacies and public health offices. Visit Flu.gov to learn more about flu shots and where to get them.
This year, with the onset of the H1N1 (swine flu) virus, you’ll need to get two different shots to protect yourself.
Please save yourself some money and keep yourself healthy. Get your flu shots.
We all thank you for it!