A flu vaccination is one of the best health investments you can make if you or a loved one has asthma.

Most healthy people recover from the flu. But if you have asthma, the flu (influenza) can be more serious, even deadly. Why? The flu can affect your compromised lungs by causing your airways to swell and narrow. These changes can trigger asthma symptoms or an asthma attack.

If you have asthma, defending yourself against the flu is very important. One of the smartest actions you can take is to get a flu vaccination. Here are five reasons to get a flu shot if you have asthma:

1. Keeping it simple

The flu shot helps prevent serious complications, including pneumonia and death. Each year, thousands of people, including children, are hospitalized and die from complications related to the flu. Statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that asthma is common among people hospitalized for flu — and that adults and children with asthma are more likely to develop pneumonia after getting sick with the flu. Consider getting a pneumococcal vaccine at the same time as a flu vaccine for additional protection from pneumonia.

2. Costly care

Preventing serious complications can also help you save money.  Hospital stays and frequent doctor visits can drain your energy and your wallet. One 2007 study estimated the total economic burden of flu at $87 billion.

3. Spare the sick days

You will save time lost to being sick and out of work, or taking care of sick children. A 2012 study estimated that parents of children sick with the flu lost 73 hours of work time. Flu season runs from October to May, so there‘s still time to get your family vaccinated. It takes your body about two weeks to develop immunity to the flu after you get the shot.

4. Public health

You’ll keep people around you healthy, including the very young and old. Caregivers of people with asthma should get flu shots even if they don’t have asthma themselves. You can spread the flu virus without knowing it.

5. You’re covered

Flu shots are covered under most insurance plans, federal Healthcare Marketplace plans, and Medicaid and Medicare. They are free or low cost.