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Protect yourself with immunity shot this flu season

MANILA, Philippines — If there is anything positive that came out of the pandemic, it is that people became more conscious of their health and thus started to take concrete steps to protect themselves against serious diseases.

The constant reminders to take precautions during the strictest of lockdowns made them more aware of the unseen threats to their health. Reports confirm this, as they show that health consciousness among Filipinos is increasing.

In 2020, when the lockdowns took place and COVID-19 was an unknown "entity," the demand for Vitamin C alone more than doubled. There was also an increased interest in maintenance medicine, antibiotics and antivirals.

Fitness equipment, such as weights, exercise mats and jumping ropes, enjoyed strong sales in online shopping platforms. There was no doubt that Filipinos were taking charge over their own health.

Now that more than 170 million COVID-19 vaccine doses have been administered and authorities have officially declared the pandemic over, people are excited to make up for lost time and activities they missed during the pandemic. Health restrictions have been mostly lifted, but there are still COVID cases and the risk of getting exposed to other health threats, such as the flu, is still there.

Health professionals are one in saying that preventive healthcare through routine immunization is the best protection from such a strong threat as the flu because the strain and severity of the flu changes from season to season.

The flu, which is short for influenza, is a viral respiratory infection that causes mild to severe illness, and, in extreme cases, even death. Its symptoms are fever or chills, cough, sore throat, and a runny or stuffy nose. Other possible symptoms include body aches, headaches and tiredness. Vomiting and diarrhea may also occur, but this is more common in children than in adults.

The flu is contagious and is spread through tiny droplets transmitted via coughing, sneezing, or talking. Close contact is the most common way to get the flu, but it may also be transmitted by touching an object that someone with the virus has coughed or sneezed on. The virus may stay infectious for hours to days, and