Flu Vaccine vs. Antiviral Drugs

The CDC recommends that every person over the age of six months receive an annual flu vaccine. However, if you are afraid of needles, you might take your chances with catching the flu virus by avoiding the flu shot. Because antiviral drugs are available, some people feel that they can simply visit their doctor if they develop flu symptoms. Understand, however, that antiviral drugs are not the go-to remedy for the flu virus.

Sure, these medications can reduce the severity of flu symptoms and speed recovery, but in most cases, antiviral drugs only shorten the flu infection by one or two days. And for the medication to work, it must be taken at the onset of flu symptoms.

Getting a flu vaccine is the better approach. It takes about two weeks for the vaccination to provide protection against the flu virus. But once you’re protected, the flu vaccine offers up to 90% protection. Additionally, most people only need one flu shot per year.

Talk to your doctor to see if the flu vaccine is right for you and your family. Flu season is right around the corner – the sooner you get a flu vaccination, the better.

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