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Why get a flu shot?

For most people, getting the flu is an uncomfortable inconvenience. No one wants take days off work or school in order to lie in bed, feverish and miserable. For a select few, the flu is more than an inconvenience. It is a danger to their lives. These people are the best arguments for everyone to get flu shots. The higher the percentage of people who get flu shots, the less the flu will be able to spread. The less the flu spreads, the fewer people will get infected with the flu for whom such an illness would be a serious danger. For more motivation, flu shot costs are usually fairly low. By getting a flu shot, you are not only protecting yourself from illness. You are also protecting the people around you, and the people around them. Given several degrees of separation, you may help to save lives.

Protection from the Flu Virus

Generally speaking, inoculations such as the influenza vaccine contain either dead or weakened viruses. When these are introduced into a person's immune system, the immune system learns to recognize the virus, and is better able to fight said virus if it is ever re-introduced. Flu shots (also known as influenza shots) use a dead form of the most recent common mutations of the flu virus, while flu nasal sprays use a weakened virus. In either case, the idea is that if you get an influenza shot, your body will recognize the year's common mutations of the flu, and your immune system will kill any full-strength flu germs before they are able to create a full-blown infection. The reason that people are encouraged to get a flu shot every year is because the flu virus mutates so quickly.

Where to Find a Flu Shot

Flu shot locations are everywhere through several different businesses. Some of those are:

Community Health Departments: Many community health departments will host flu shot clinics in public areas (such as libraries) at some point during the fall. The cost to get one of these flu shots is low (many community health departments provide free flu shots), and appointments aren't usually necessary. In order to find out where these flu shot clinics will take place in your area, just look up the bulletins on your community health clinic web page.

Pharmacies: Chain pharmacies, such as CVS, Rite Aid, and Walgreens, regularly offer flu shots, often at fairly low prices ranging from $25 to $35, even without insurance. Appointments are often unnecessary, and some pharmacies also provide the nasal flu vaccine.

Box Stores and Grocery Stores: These days, many box stores and grocery stores have pharmacies, which provide flu shots during the fall and winter months. Often, appointments are not needed, and costs are low.

Doctors' Offices: Naturally, you can get a flu shot by visiting your doctor's office. Scheduling an appointment and getting the shot will likely be more expensive than those shots offered at pharmacies or through community health departments, but if you must visit your doctor in any case, then you may as well get a flu shot while you're there.

If you want help finding locations that offer flu shots in your area, as well as how much each provider charges, just enter your zip code and email address here:

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