Why Almost Everyone Should Get a Flu Shot

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Why Almost Everyone Should Get a Flu Shot

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It’s that time of the year again: cold and flu season! Have you gotten your flu shot yet? Flu shots are the most effective way to prevent influenza and the complications that can arise from it. In case you don’t know exactly what influenza is, it’s a respiratory infection that can cause serious complications and put you out of commission for a week or more. In fact, the CDC recommends that everyone 6 months of age or older be vaccinated every year. It is especially important for young children and elderly adults. Chances are that you may have some important questions that you want answered about it. Check out these answer to common questions about the flu!

Why Do I Need To Get The Vaccine Every Year?

Maybe you’re thinking that you got the vaccination last year so why would you need to get it again this year? Shouldn’t it be a one time deal? Unfortunately, the answer is no. New vaccines for the flu are released every year to keep up with the rapidly evolving flu viruses. The vaccine you got last year may not protect you from this year’s viruses. This means that the vaccination changes over time as the virus changes. Also, antibody levels decrease over time which is why it’s so important to get the shot every year.

Who Should and Shouldn’t Get The Vaccine?

Annual influenza vaccinations are recommended for almost everyone, however it is of utmost importance for young children, older adults, and pregnant women. These people are at a high risk for the virus along with anyone who has the following medical conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer or cancer treatment
  • COPD
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Obesity

Although the vaccine is ideal for almost everyone, there are groups of people who should avoid it. You should check with a healthcare professional before receiving the vaccine if you are allergic to eggs since some of the vaccines contain a small amount of egg proteins or if you have had a bad reaction to the vaccine in the past. If in doubt, ask your doctor prior to getting vaccinated.

What Forms Does the Vaccine Come In?

You have two choices if you’re ready to get the vaccine. You can either get a shot or a nasal spray. If you choose the shot route, it’s usually given in a muscle in the arm. An intradermal (in-the-skin) vaccine is available for individuals between the ages of 18-64. Or, if you are scared to death of shots, a nasal spray is the alternative form. It is approved for use in healthy individuals between the ages of 2-49 who aren’t pregnant. The difference between the two forms is that the flu shot contains dead viruses which can’t be passed to others. However, the nasal spray contains weakened live viruses which can be transferred to others.

Stay healthy this winter by getting the flu vaccine and by practicing good hygiene! Interested in other health topics? Don’t forget to read the next Complete Home Care Services of Tennessee blog post!

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