As flu season arrives you may be searching for facts about the flu shot. While many people get the flu shot every year with little problem, others are very weary of the idea. Knowing the right facts about the flu shot can help you make the decision that is best for you.
The Center of Disease Control and Prevention, also known as the CDC, suggest everyone over the age of 6 months get the flu shot. The CDC strongly urges children under the age of 5 and adults over the age of 65 to a yearly flu shot. Also pregnant women and people that suffer from asthma, chronic lung disease, heart disease, and other illness that weaken the immune system are encouraged to get vaccinated. These people are more likely to become seriously ill, even requiring hospitalization if they became sick with influenza.
2. Who Should Not?
Of course there is always the exception to the rule. This list of facts about the flu shot wouldn’t be balanced if we didn’t discuss who shouldn’t get the shot. People with severe egg allergy, have ever had an adverse reaction to past influenza shot, or babies under 6 months should not get the flu shot.
The flu season starts as early as October and can extend as late as May. If you plan to get the flu vaccine it is best to get it as soon as it comes available. It takes nearly 2 weeks for the antibodies to fully develop and protect you.
There are two types of “flu shots.” The first is an actual vaccine given with a needle. The vaccine injects dead strands of the viruses. Each vaccine includes three different influenza viruses that research has determined are mostly likely to be common each flu season.
The nasal spray flu vaccine is a newer version of the “flu shot.” You may be looking for more facts about the flu shot if you are just now learning about the nasal spray. Unlike the traditional shot, the nasal spray is made with weakened flu viruses not dead ones. The viruses don’t cause illness, but this shot is not recommended for everyone. Only people between the ages of 2 and 49, that are in good health and not pregnant, are eligible for the nasal-spray flu vaccine.
6. Why Every Year?
One fact about the flu shot that some people don’t realize is you have to get it every year. The influenza virus changes and new strands become active each season. Because it is such a quickly changing virus the vaccine is also different each year. It protects against different variations of the virus.
7. Can I Still Get Sick?
Unfortunately, yes. Because the current vaccine is only a researched guess at what the most common strands of the projected flu virus will be for the current season, you may not be protected from the actual strand going around. Because of this fact about the flu shot, many people opt out of getting the vaccine each year. They feel their chances of getting sick are the same with or without the shot.
How do you feel about the flu shot? I know people that swear by getting vaccinated every year. I also know people that are strongly opposed to the flu shot. I think the decision is personal and everyone should research the issue by checking facts about the flu shot for themselves and discussing concerns with their healthcare provider. Will you get the flu shot this season?
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