Annual wellness exams and flu vaccinations are critical to a healthy start to the New Year!

Despite the hustle and bustle that this time of year brings, it is essential to prioritize your health and well-being. A great way to do so is by taking advantage of an annual wellness exam and your yearly flu shot.

When it comes to your health and wellness, taking a proactive approach is very critical. Wellness exams are important check-ups that provide patients with an opportunity to speak with their medical provider and ensure they are in good health for the year ahead.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, fewer than half of American adults, age 65 or older, and fewer than a quarter of adults, ages 50 to 64, receive the recommended level of preventative health services (CDC). This includes immunizations and cancer and cardiovascular screenings.

A variety of health stats are reviewed during a wellness exam, such as height and weight changes; a check for possible diseases that could be treated early; update necessary immunizations; laboratory screenings that check cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar levels.

If you have yet to receive your annual flu shot, doing so during your annual wellness exam is also important. The CDC says that flu activity during the 2020-2021 season was very low due to pandemic-related face coverings and social distancing measures.

It is estimated that half of the adults, ages 18 to 64, with at least one chronic health condition received a flu vaccine last season. This means that many individuals who are most vulnerable to getting very sick with the flu are not getting the protection they need.

Flu vaccines are needed each year because flu viruses are constantly changing. These vaccines are reviewed each year and updated to better match flu viruses that are expected to spread in the U.S. during that season.

This year, flu vaccines in the U.S. are quadrivalent (four-component), meaning they are designed to protect against the four flu viruses that research indicates are most likely to spread. The CDC recommends that everyone six months and older get vaccinated.

According to health officials, it is possible to become sick with both the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. Both viruses are contagious respiratory illnesses, but different viruses cause them.

Being vaccinated against both the flu and COVID-19 does not prevent you from being infected. However, symptoms in such cases are typically less severe than those who have not been vaccinated.

Having a better grasp of your health starts with a simple wellness exam, making sure you are up to date on critical vaccinations, and taking other preventive measures as appropriate. This will set you up for a better outlook in the New Year.

Faith Community Rural Health Clinics are a convenient choice for numerous healthcare services for the whole family.  Most private health insurances, along with Medicare, cover the cost of annual wellness visits.

For more information about vaccines and scheduling an appointment for wellness exams, please call the Faith Community Rural Health Clinic in Jacksboro (940-567-5528), Bowie (940-872-1121), Alvord (940-427-2858), and Graham (940-282-2512).