For the first time since 2002, the U.S. actually has enough flu shots for everybody in the country. This has been likely sparked by the hubbub from two years back, when the country was critically short of the vaccine. This time around, four drug makers are preparing about 115 million doses for the season, which is a record amount and nearly double the output from two years ago.
No longer are there warnings about giving shots only early in the season to those deemed high at risk of getting the flu. As a matter of fact, manufacturers now face the challenge of selling all these flu shots, which can only be used in the given season because the vaccine is based on this year’s flu strain. Leftover shots will have to be disposed of.
This is a huge advancement from 2004 when officials were surprised and unprepared for a contamination of the vaccine over in Britain, which the U.S. was relying on. British health authorities actually condemned the use of all 50 million doses that were to be produced in Liverpool and then shipped to the U.S. Since that fiasco occurred, the FDA has sent inspectors to the plants where the vaccine has been made every year in order to make sure everything is running smoothly.
The flu is a serious problem every year. About 36,000 people die in the U.S. from it and more than 500,000 are hospitalized with heart and lung problems, which are directly tied to the flu virus. The flu is very serious for individuals who are most at risk: the elderly, children, and those with weakened immune systems.
The complications pose the gravest threat, with any number of serious respiratory problems possibly being triggered by an infection. To protect ourselves, we can enhance our own immune systems by eating healthy foods and perhaps taking supplements. Vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, selenium, and zinc are the greatest nutrients for building a strong immune system. This is a well-established fact.
A lot of people don’t think that they need the flu shot or it’s that it’s some kind of conspiracy backed by the government. Maybe it makes you sick instead of protecting you. Well, there is no conspiracy and a flu shot doesn’t make you sick. It is the single best thing that you can do to protect your body from the flu.
There is no alternative method that’s more useful than the vaccine, which is specially created each year for the sole purpose of killing that year’s virus. The flu shot is similar in concept to an allergy shot: you’re teaching your body to react properly when the real threat comes. There is no credible reason for why you shouldn’t get the flu shot.