If you're someone who skipped their annual flu shot last year, you're not alone. According to new numbers released by the Centers for Disease Control, only 42 percent of Americans got the vaccination.
With every flu season comes different strands that require a different yearly vaccination. Last year's mild season let many of those shot-skippers luck out on not getting sick but there are some groups that should be taking flu shots seriously. Whether you're a big believer in flu shots or think they're not worth the time, new numbers from the CDC show Americans are pretty much split when it comes to the yearly influenza vaccine.
"Some people do and some people don't. The challenge is that there are definitely groups that are at high risk if they actually do get influenza or if they could expose someone."
Groups like the elderly and young children had fairly good vaccination rates, but only 29 percent of people ages 18 to 49 got the shot. Health officials said another concern was the vaccination rates among pregnant women, which were only at about 47 percent.
"In recent years we've really discovered that pregnant women have not been dealing with influenza very well and we do know pregnancy causes a bit of immune suppression."
Protecting yourself is only part of the flu vaccine push. It's also about preventing the virus from spreading to other people who may already be fighting other complications. health officials say the vaccine is a win-win for everyone.
"Prevention doesn't really help if you haven't gotten it ahead of time and have it on board."
Health officials say you should consult your doctor before getting the vaccine to avoid any health complications. While it may seem a bit early, health officials say the vaccine should still protect you for the entire season.