As the 2016-2017 flu season approaches, now is a great time to get vaccinated against the flu. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone 6 months of age and older get a flu vaccine.
Unlike their recommendations during past flu seasons, the CDC and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) are not recommending the nasal spray vaccine, FluMist, for the 2016-2017 season due to concerns over its effectiveness, especially in children. The CDC and AAP are now only recommending the injectable flu vaccine.
Some flu shots protect against three flu viruses while others protect against four viruses. Consult your physician to determine which shot is best for you. If you don’t have a regular doctor, you can get a flu vaccine at a local health department, pharmacy or urgent care clinic.
Getting an annual flu vaccine is the first and, arguably, the best way to protect your family during the flu season. For more information on the 2016-2017 vaccine, click here.
As cold and flu season rolls around, there are a bevy of products you can turn to that purport to help boost your immunity. But how well do they actually work?
Since the function of the immune system is to react to challenges and develop new defenses, it can be improved. Every time you catch a cold or get vaccinated, your immune system builds a new army of killer T-cells, ready to fight off a future recurrence of the same pathogen.
But there is no nutritional supplement, superfood, or mind, body or spirit technique that will do this for you. Harvard Medical School has stated, “The concept of boosting immunity actually makes little sense scientifically. In fact, boosting the number of cells in your body—immune cells or others—is not necessarily a good thing,” and can lead to autoimmune disease in the case of your immune system.
So while you can’t supercharge your immune system, you can take precautions to prevent getting sick. These include practicing good hygiene (like regular hand-washing), getting vaccinated (including flu shots), practicing food safety, being knowledgeable and vigilant when traveling to foreign countries, drinking clean water and practicing safe sex.