#FitnessPH - Regular immunization is the best way to protect yourself from the flu

Reports indicate that Filipino consumers are becoming more health conscious.  The demand for vitamin C more than doubled in 2020, and businesses noticed a rise in demand for antibiotics, antivirals, and maintenance medication for elderly patients.  Exercise mats, jump ropes, and weights have become common purchases on online buying websites. 

Many people are eager to catch up on what they missed while the epidemic was at its worst now that more than 170 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been given out. However, despite the majority of health restrictions being relaxed, there is still a chance of contracting diseases like the flu.

Preventive healthcare through routine immunization is the best protection from it because the strain and severity of flu changes from season to season. 

What is the flu?

Influenza, or flu for short, is a viral respiratory infection that causes mild to severe illness, and even death. Its symptoms include fever or chills, cough, sore throat, or a runny or stuffy nose. Other possible symptoms include body aches, headaches, and tiredness. Vomiting and diarrhea may also occur, but this is more common in children. 

The flu is contagious and is spread through tiny droplets transmitted via coughing, sneezing, or talking.  Close contact is the most common way to get the flu, but it may also be transmitted by touching an object that someone with the virus has coughed or sneezed on. The virus may stay infectious for hours to days, and will stay active longer on hard surfaces like plastic or stainless steel. 

Flu and cold share symptoms but they are caused by different viruses. The flu is more intense in terms of symptoms. It also affects everyone, even young and healthy people, at any time of the year. It is a constant threat, which is why it is important to protect oneself against it. 

Timely immunization is the best weapon against the flu 

It’s recommended to get annual immunization since vaccines change each year to match the flu viruses going around at the moment.  Immunity from the flu vaccine declines over time, so a regular schedule is critical to get the best protection and you don’t even need to wait for a year to renew your flu shot.  As soon as the new variant comes out, you can set an appointment with your doctor and get vaccinated.

There are other benefits to getting yearly immunization. Besides protection, flu vaccines promote savings for individuals, families, and even employers and healthcare systems.  Individuals inoculated with the flu vaccine reduce their risk of going to the doctor by up to 60%.  This is advantageous, considering that the cost of hospitalization can range from P10,000 to P30,000 per visit  and the average monthly income for Filipino families is P25,599. 

Get immunized today

“The flu shot does not guarantee that you won’t get sick, but it will significantly reduce your risk. This is important as we have adjusted to the new way of life and Filipinos are making plans to travel, meet friends and family, and go back to the office and school. We encourage everyone to get the new flu vaccine so they can be unstoppable as they mark their milestones this year,” says Dr. Kevin Bautista, GSK Medical Affairs Manager.

Consult your doctor to schedule a flu vaccine. Hospitals and clinics nationwide also offer flu vaccination services.

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