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Should I Get a Flu Shot? 5 Factors to Consider

Every year there is a debate over whether you should get the flu shot. Some people receive the vaccine every year, while others get it occasionally. Then some people never want to flu shot because of myths or because of negative past experiences after getting the shot.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of January 5th, 2019, an estimated 6.2 to 7.3 million were sick with the flu. An estimated 69,300 to 83,500 needed hospitalization for treatment. Throughout the flu season, the numbers increased as usual.

The influenza vaccine might be the right option for you or a loved one, but the choice if yours.

If you’re thinking “should I get a flu shot” please continue reading. We’ve compiled the information you need to make a decision.

What is the Flu?

The flu or influenza is a virus that causes many symptoms such as body aches, chills, cough, diarrhea, exhaustion, fever, headache, and vomiting. The symptoms develop fast but going to the doctor within 48 hours improves your chances of fighting the virus, according to Very Well Health. 

What is a Flu Shot?

According to the CDC, the flu shot is a vaccine given by the needle usually in the upper arm. The vaccine protects against three or four strains of the influenza virus research claims that will be prevalent during the flu season.

There are different types of flu vaccines. The standard quadrivalent flu shots are approved for infants through adults. The quadrivalent cell-based flu shot is okay for a person four years of age and older.  A recombinant quadrivalent flu shot goes to adults 18 years and older. The quadrivalent live attenuated influenza nasal spray vaccine goes to people two to forty-nine years old.

Possible side effects include redness or tenderness at the vaccine injection location. Some people could develop a headache, sore muscles, and a low-grade fever.

Severe reactions to the flu shot are possible but rare. Those symptoms include wheezing, paleness, weakness, rapid heartbeat, hives, and dizziness. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your physician.

Who Should Get a Flu Shot?

The flu shot is safe for the use of everyone six months of age and older. Different vaccines are appropriate for different age groups. People with chronic illnesses and pregnant women should get a flu shot, according to the CDC. 

Who Should Not Get a Flu Shot?

Children younger than six months shouldn’t get the flu shot. People with life-threatening allergies to the flu shot ingredients such as gelatin, antibiotics, or other components shouldn’t receive the vaccine. If you have an egg allergy consulting with your physician is suggested.

People with a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome, which paralyzes the patient should not get the flu vaccine. If you have concerns always talk with your doctor before getting the shot, says the CDC.

When and Where Can You Get a Flu Shot?

The CDC suggests people get their flu shot before the end of October since it takes two weeks for the antibodies to build in your immune system. 

People can get a flu shot at their doctor’s office, urgent care, hospitals, and pharmacies. Depending on where you work, your employer may offer free vaccines on site.

It’s Up To You

No one can answer your question of should I get a flu shot. If you work in an environment where you are always around people, it may be wise to consider getting a flu vaccine. But you shouldn’t feel pressured to get it.

If you need more information about how to treat the flu, please visit our website.