This year’s flu season has been worse than any flu season over the last several years with over 60,000 samples testing positive all over the United States. Any doctor will tell you that your best defense against the flu is the flu vaccine. If you are unsure about getting the vaccine, there are a few things that you should know about it.
Why Is the Flu Vaccine So Important?
The main reason that people get the flu vaccine is that the flu can make you feel miserable. Also, the symptoms can keep you bedridden for a week or more. The flu can cause serious complications that can lead to hospitalization and even death. Finally, it is responsible to get the flu shot. Since the flu is very contagious, it is up to you to keep from getting the flu and passing it on to others.
Does the Vaccine Contain the Active Flu Virus?
There are many people who are afraid to get the flu virus because they worry that they will get the flu from the vaccine. This is not possible. The flu vaccine is designed to help your body build antibodies to fight off the flu virus using the virus within the vaccine. However, the virus that is in the vaccine is not a live virus, which means that it cannot cause the flu.
Does the Flu Vaccine Cause Side Effects?
The flu vaccine does cause a few minor side effects including:
- Soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site.
- A low-grade fever
- About one to two percent of the population will experience a high-grade fever after getting the flu shot.
What Type of Flu Vaccines Are Available?
There are a few types of flu vaccines available. In previous years, the nasal spray flu vaccine was available, however, it is not available for the 2017-2018 flu season. The following vaccines are available and they are given via injection in the arm.
- Standard-dose trivalent shots: This shot is recommended for people aged 18-64.
- High-dose trivalent shot: This shot is recommended for people 65 years of age or over.
- Recombinant trivalent shot: This shot is egg-free and it is recommended for pregnant women and people over 18 years of age with an egg allergy.
- Quadrivalent flu shot: This type of flu shot is recommended for children as young as 6 months and adults up to 64 years old.
How Often Should I Get the Flu Vaccine?
It is recommended that you get the flu vaccine for two reasons. First, your body’s immune response to the vaccine can decline over time. This means that by the time the next flu season begins, you won’t be protected by the previous year’s shot. Second, the flu virus is different each year, therefore, you would need a flu shot with the correct compounds to protect you from the current year’s virus.
Does the Flu Vaccine Work Instantly?
Unfortunately, it takes up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to start developing the necessary antibodies to fight off the flu virus. Because of this, you should get your flu shot in the fall, before flu the peak of flu season.
Can I Get the Flu If I Was Vaccinated?
If you are vaccinated, it is still possible to get the flu. This is especially true this year as it has been reported that vaccine is less effective than usual. It is still important to get vaccinated this year and every year.
It is important that everyone gets the flu shot each year. It will benefit you and the people you come in contact with.