There's plenty to get excited about in the fall: Cooler temperatures, colorful leaves and football season. But autumn also has its ugly side: Namely, the beginning of flu season.
Hundreds of thousands are hospitalized due to the flu every year. According to the CDC, the best way to reduce the chances of catching the virus is to get an annual flu vaccine. In fact, it's recommended that everyone six months and older should get a shot this fall — even if a person got one last year.
Not only does an annual flu shot protect a person from getting sick, but it also prevents the spread of disease throughout the community. One study by the CDC showed that flu vaccinations reduced flu-related hospitalizations by 71 percent among all adults.
There are a number of different vaccines that may be administered depending on age, allergies and other factors. Though there are many options to chose from, as long as a person is getting one a year, he's in good shape. Patients should be sure to ask a doctor if they have questions or ongoing health issues.
Flu shots are available to those who don't have a regular doctor or nurse. Check around at local pharmacies, schools and health centers using the CDC's Vaccine Locator.
Those who are afraid of needles don't need to skip out on the vaccine. Many vendors offer the vaccine in the form of a nasal spray — meaning no sharp pricks.
For more common facts about annual flu shots, check out this video from Newsy.