Flu shots are administered every year during influenza season. They are recommended by health authorities all over the world. A flu shot is given to protect people from getting the flu virus. It protects against three strains of influenza viruses: H1N1 (swine flu), H3N2 (bird flu) and B strain (infant formula). The vaccine does not prevent other types of infections such as pneumonia or meningitis.
The flu vaccine is considered safe and effective. Studies have shown that it prevents the spread of influenza viruses among humans.
Influenza viruses cause severe illness and death in many people each year. People who get infected with these viruses usually die within a few days after they become ill. Other complications include fever, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, cough and diarrhea. These symptoms may last up to two weeks after infection.
A flu shot is most effective when given between the months of November through March. The best time to receive a flu shot is before going into close contact with someone who has been sick with the flu.
If you catch the flu while traveling abroad, ask your doctor if you need to take any medicines or vaccines before leaving home. Your doctor will advise whether you should get vaccinated or not.
There are some risks associated with receiving a flu vaccination. The most common side effects include soreness or redness at the injection site.
In rare cases, a person may experience a fever, muscle aches or tiredness after getting a vaccine. A flu vaccine may not protect against becoming ill if you are exposed to a different type of influenza than what the vaccine contains.
Flu shots are considered safe and effective for most people. It is recommended for everyone over the age of six months to get vaccinated against the influenza virus.
This includes pregnant women, the elderly and people who have chronic health problems. A person should get a flu vaccine every year because the influenza virus strains change from year to year.
A person with a severe allergy to vaccine ingredients should not receive a flu shot. It is also not recommended if you had an allergic reaction to a previous flu shot.
In conclusion, the benefits of getting a flu shot far outweigh the risks. The vaccine can prevent you from getting sick and prevent you from spreading the virus to others.
What are the pros and cons of the flu shot?
Flu shots are very safe and effective at preventing the flu. It is important to get the vaccine every year because the strains of influenza viruses change each year.
There are many myths about the flu shot, such as that they cause the flu, or that they are unsafe for children. These are all untrue.
Here are some pros and cons of getting the flu vaccine.
The vaccine can protect you from catching the flu.
It reduces the severity of the symptoms if you do get the flu.
It can lessen the chance of passing your infection on to other people.
It is important for people at high risk of complications from the flu to get the vaccine. This includes pregnant women, the elderly and people with certain health conditions such as asthma or a heart condition.
The vaccine cannot give you the flu (as it is killed), as it contains no active virus.
Some people may experience mild side effects such as soreness at the injection site or a low-grade fever.
The vaccine may not protect everyone who receives it.
Who should not receive the flu shot?
You should not get the vaccine if you have had a severe allergic reaction to the flu vaccine in the past. You may be allergic to one of the ingredients in the vaccine, such as egg protein or antibiotics. If you are not sure, speak to your doctor before receiving the vaccine.
You should also let your doctor know of any health conditions you have, such as a weak immune system or heart condition. Pregnant women should receive the vaccine to protect themselves, but it is not recommended for women who are allergic to eggs.
“I have heard that some vaccines no longer work due to changes in the virus.
Is this true?”
Vaccines protect you from getting a disease by giving you a ‘trusted’ version of the virus, which means your body can learn to fight it off. This means you will be immune for life because your body will recognise the virus if you come into contact with it again.
Unfortunately, some viruses change slightly over time, which means the vaccine may not protect you from getting the disease or may not prevent serious complications from developing.
For example, the vaccine for flu (influenza) changes each year as the virus mutates. If the vaccine no longer contains the strain of virus circulating in the community, then it will not offer protection.
This is why it is important to get the vaccine every year.
What are some of the side effects or risks of getting the flu vaccine?”
Most people will not experience any side effects from the vaccine. The most common side effect is a sore arm or leg for a day or two.
Other possible side effects include:
A mild rash that will fade in a few days
Sometimes you may feel unwell, but this should only last for a day or two. If this happens to you, rest and drink plenty of fluids.
You can find more information about possible vaccine reactions here.
Is it too late for me to get the vaccine this year?”
It is not too late to protect yourself from the flu this year. The vaccine protects you from three or four strains of flu and it takes about two weeks for your body to build up immunity. So if you get the vaccine now, you will be protected for the winter months.
If you have missed out on getting the vaccine over the summer, speak to your doctor about the vaccine when the next flu season comes around.
I am 64 this year, do I need the flu vaccine?”
The National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) recommend that everyone who is 65 or older is offered the flu vaccine each year. The vaccine will protect you from three or four different strains of the virus circulating in the community.
Everyone who receives the vaccine is protected from these strains and less likely to pass the virus on to anyone else.
Sources & references used in this article:
What determines influenza vaccination take‐up of elderly Europeans? by H Schmitz, A Wübker – Health Economics, 2011 – Wiley Online Library
Developing and testing a decision model for predicting influenza vaccination compliance. by WB Carter, LR Beach, TS Inui, JP Kirscht… – Health Services …, 1986 – ncbi.nlm.nih.gov
How can you improve vaccination rates among older African Americans? Patients want you to address their fear of drug interactions and allergic reactions by RJ Wray, K Jupka, W Ross, D Dotson… – Journal of Family …, 2007 – go.gale.com
Do people who intend to get a flu shot actually get one? by KM Harris, J Maurer, N Lurie – Journal of general internal medicine, 2009 – Springer