Flu Shot or Not?
Monday, December 3, 2018 Michele Pratt
Should I get a flu shot?
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) is recommending those age 6 months and up should receive the flu vaccine for 2018-2019. Your age and various medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or various heart conditions will determine if you should receive the nasal vaccine or the injection version. Your doctor can assist you in navigating which is best. If you get your flu shot at the pharmacy, you will receive the injection.
There are several myths surrounding the flu shot. The first one is that you can get the flu from getting the flu shot. The flu shot is made up of an inactivated virus that can’t transmit infection. If you become ill shortly after receiving the flu shot, you may have a different strain of flu than what you are being protected from through the shot or you were already getting sick when you got your shot. Remember, it takes two weeks to be fully protected from the flu. Another myth is that healthy people don’t need to be protected. While it’s important for those with chronic illnesses or compromised immune systems to be protected the CDC makes the recommendation for anyone to receive the immunization. After receiving the flu shot you should still make every attempt to protection yourself from the flu by washing hands frequently and avoiding contact with those who have the flu. Another myth is that the flu is just a bad cold; in years past an average of 36,000 people have died and 200,000 people become hospitalized because of the flu. How often do you need to get the flu shot? The CDC recommends receiving the shot annually as the strain of flu mutates or changes each year and the research and development of projected strains goes into the production of the shot.
It is recommended that receiving the shot is offered beginning in late October, but if you missed this initial offering it is still suggested to have the shot by January to protect yourself. There are a combination of vaccines that offer protection against H1N1, H3N2 and the B virus. Research has shown that those who receive the vaccine, if they do get sick with the flu, their illness’s symptoms and the duration is milder and shorter.
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