Friendly Reminder from Dr. Amy: It’s Time to Get a Flu Shot

If you haven’t been vaccinated against seasonal influenza yet, it’s important to go to your local pharmacy and get your annual flu shot. Not only does that protect you against a serious illness that can lead to hospitalization or even death, but there is powerful evidence that a flu shot may also be a vaccine against heart attacks and strokes.

In fact, when researchers from Harvard and other centers analyzed studies of more than 6,700 men and women, comparing people who had gotten a flu shot to those who received a placebo shot or no shot, those who were immunized against flu were:

  • 36% less likely to experience major cardiovascular events, such as heart attack, stroke, heart failure, or death from CV causes, during the next 12 months.
  • 55% less likely to have a repeat CV event in the next 12 months if they had previously suffered a heart attack or stroke.

Leading medical groups, including the American Heart Association, strongly advise annual flu shots for people with heart disease. The CDC recommends vaccination for everyone, except infants under the age of 6 months, but cautions that certain people should check with their healthcare provider before being immunized, including patients with a severe allergy to chicken eggs, those who have had a severe reaction to a flu shot, and people who are ill with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated.)

To read the CDC’s full recommendations about flu shots and learn more about their benefits, click here. And after you do, head over to your local pharmacy to get vaccinated!

Yours in heart health,

Dr. Amy Doneen, DNP, ARNP