Who Should Get The Flu Shot?
Flu shots, or vaccines, are recommended for all people over 6 months of age, and without allergies to the vaccine, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This includes pregnant women and the elderly. For more details about who is at risk of getting the flu visit: http://www.flu.gov/at-risk/index.html
What Is the Flu?
Flu, also known as influenza, is a severe respiratory disease that can often lead to hospitalization and even death. The strains of the flu virus changes every year as a result of viral mutation. The vaccines produced every year targets the most likely types of strains expected to be present in the flu virus every year. For more details on how the flu virus changes visit http://www.flu.gov/about_the_flu/virus_changes/index.html
How Bad Is the Flu?
The flu virus can cause nausea, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle aches, cough, fatigue, fever, and even DEATH. In fact, influenza has caused anywhere between 3,000 to 49,000 deaths per flu season.
What Is The Flu Shot and Why Should I Get it?
Flu shots, aka influenza vaccines contain inactivated, or not-live viruses to expose your immune system to the inactivated virus so that your immune system will learn how to fight off the infection in case you get exposed to the live virus. You should get the flu shot on a yearly basis as soon as it becomes available to give your body the best protection from the flu virus.
Why Did I Get Sick Right After Getting The Flu Shot?
If you do get the flu shortly after getting the flu shot, it is most likely that it was a result of being in contact with someone who had the flu either before or soon after the flu shot. This is because it takes 2 weeks for the flu vaccines to give you protection. During that 2-week time period, your body is still developing the necessary immunity to protect against the flu and is still vulnerable to getting the flu. Because the flu vaccine contains the inactivated form of the flu, it cannot get you sick since it cannot turn into the activated form of the flu.
Why Did I Still Get Sick After Over 2-Weeks of Getting The Flu Shot?
Since it is not possible to perfectly predict every strain of the flu virus that may cause influenza every year, it would not be possible to provide perfect protection against influenza. However, even if the vaccine does not provide complete protection against influenza, it will still boost your immune system to fight off many types of viruses and reduce the severity of the flu in the event you still get sick. Thus, you are better off getting the flu shot than not getting it.
Where Can I Get The Flu Shot?
Traditionally, most flu shots were given in hospitals, clinics, and doctor offices. More recently, pharmacies have become another great and convenient way to get vaccinated. Pharmacists are licensed health care professionals who must undergo immunization training before they are allowed to administer vaccines. There are several types of vaccines available to choose from for the prevention of influenza. Although the CDC does not recommend one type of vaccine over the other; there are many factors that may make one type of vaccine more appropriate than the other such as certain allergies and age. Health care professionals like doctors and pharmacists can help determine if one type of vaccine may be more appropriate for you than the others. They can also answer any questions you may have in regards to the influenza vaccine and other vaccines that may be appropriate for you.