This post is sponsored by Michigan Health and Human Services. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Over the past 12 months, one of our biggest focuses has been protecting and improving our health, especially while our country is still dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve been doing everything we can to stay safe and healthy through healthy habits, such as getting enough sleep, eating well, reducing our stress and more. Getting the flu vaccine was also at the top of the list.

Getting your yearly flu vaccine is safe and an easy and effective way to prevent getting the flu. Not only does getting the flu vaccine help protect your own family, but has a lasting effect on helping to keep your communities safe. While I definitely want to be sure that my own family and children stay safe and healthy, I also find comfort in knowing that we can help our communities health too. The more people who are vaccinated, the better in terms of decreasing spread and creating community immunity.

Last year, there were an estimated 39 – 56 million cases of the flu in the U.S., 18 – 26 million medical visits due to the flu, and approximately half a million flu hospitalizations. In the 2019-2020 flu season, there were 952 flu-related hospitalizations in Michigan and six pediatric flu-related deaths (nationally there were 187 pediatric deaths). The flu can be extremely serious and the flu shot can save children’s lives. As a mom, my number one job is to keep my children safe, happy and healthy. Getting the flu shot every year, is one of the ways that I do so.

Right now, it’s more important than ever for Michiganders to protect themselves and their families by getting the flu shot. By getting the flu shot, you can drastically reduce your chances of getting the flu. Flu vaccinations have also been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor due to the flu by 40 to 60 percent.

Getting a flu vaccine is a huge step in reducing flu cases and can reduce the severity of the flu as well. As a concerned mom, I want to take all the steps that I can to keep my family safe. While vaccines can be a hot button topic for many, I trust the science. Vaccines have been shown to be overwhelmingly safe and studies show that they make a momentous impact in reducing flu cases and in reducing the severity of contracting the flu.

7 Reasons You Should Get The Flu Vaccine This Year:

The Flu Is Serious

The flu sickens, hospitalizes and kills many adults and children each year. Flu vaccination reduced children’s risk of flu-related pediatric intensive care unit (PICU) admission by 74 percent during flu seasons from 2010-2012 (source). In recent years, flu vaccines have reduced the risk of flu hospitalizations among adults by about 40 percent. (source)

The flu shot is an easy and effective way to avoid the hardship of illness for my family and myself.

Take Pressure Off Overwhelmed Healthcare Systems

With the COVID-19 pandemic, our healthcare systems have been stretched to the max. By preventing the flu, we can take some stress off of our struggling healthcare systems.

Prevent Your Family From Getting Ill

For a little perspective, during the 2018-2019 flu season, flu vaccination prevented an estimated 4.4 million influenza illnesses (more than the population of Los Angeles), 58,000 flu hospitalizations (just over the number of students at Michigan State University) and 3,500 flu deaths (equal to saving about 10 lives per day over the course of a year). For pregnant women,  a flu vaccine given during pregnancy helps protect the baby from flu infection for several months after birth, when he or she is not old enough to be vaccinated (source). When I was pregnant with each of my children, I made sure to get a flu shot as early as I could to help protect them as well.

It takes up to two weeks after you get the flu shot for your body to build up enough immunity to prevent the flu, so Michigan residents should get vaccinated now to protect themselves before flu activity increases in Michigan. The more people we get vaccinated and the earlier we do so, the better our state fares in regards to the flu.

Reduce Severity

Getting theflu vaccine is a simple way to reduce the severity of the flu. Studies have shown that among adults hospitalized with flu, vaccinated patients were 59 percent less likely to be admitted to the ICU than those who had not been vaccinated. Among adults in the ICU with flu, vaccinated patients on average spent 4 fewer days in the hospital than those who were not vaccinated (source).

Avoid an Illness Duo

With COVID-19 still wreaking havoc and heartbreak in our state and nationwide, it’s so important to stay healthy and prevent getting the flu. Both the flu and COVID-19 are respiratory illnesses. Having both illnesses at once could increase your chances of having a more severe illness and detrimental long-lasting effects.

Help Fight The Pandemic

Since both Influenza and COVID-19 use many of the same resources for treatment, decreasing cases of the flu allows our healthcare facilities to pour more resources into fighting the pandemic.

It’s Safe, Effective and Easy

The risk of getting the vaccine is much less than the risk of getting the flu.  Vaccines go through lengthy and intense safety testing before being approved. Countless studies have shown their efficacy in reducing contracting the flu and how it can have an impact in lessening the severity and duration of the flu.

Despite the hardships of this year, it’s important to remember that there are many things that you can do to prioritize your health and the health of your children. Getting a flu shot is one of the simplest and easiest ways to drastically reduce illness. The flu vaccine is safe, effective and protects everyone! If interested in getting the flu shot, there is currently ample supply of flu vaccine available at many locations throughout Michigan, including doctors’ offices, pharmacies and local health departments.


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