Some people believe that the flu and cold are the same kind of illness, but the truth is they are different. This is because the flu is more severe than a cold and symptoms tend to come on faster and it last several days to even weeks before clearing up. With a cold, sometimes you may believe it is allergies flaring up at first because it occurs slowly with symptoms of coughing and sneezing, but only last a couple of days.
Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to help rid an illness such as the cold or flu away fast, but you can get the flu shot to help at least prevent yourself from catching the flu. However, not everyone needs or is meant to get the flu vaccination. The only way you can find out if the flu shot is right for you is by speaking with your physician.
Who shouldn’t get the flu vaccination?
The appropriate age to get the flu shot is anyone over 6 months of age, but newborns and anyone with life-threating allergic reactions to the ingredients in the flu vaccine is not recommended to do so. Some of the ingredients in a flu shot that could cause a potential allergic reaction are gelatin, antibiotics and eggs. If you are allergic to any of these ingredients tell your doctor right away before receiving the vaccine.
Other reasons the flu vaccination isn’t wise to receive is if you have Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which is a paralyzing illness, or feel sick already. If you are sick already with the flu, your immune system is going become immune to the flu virus strains of that particular flu season. If you are pregnant, have an autoimmune disease, asthma, fever or been using aspirin long term it is wise to speak to a doctor before receiving the flu vaccine to make sure it is safe and right for you.
Who should get the flu vaccination?
Those who should get the flu vaccination are:
- Medical care givers
- Women pregnant during flu season if a doctor says it is okay
- Residents of nursing homes or group homes
- People who suffer from pulmonary conditions if a doctor recommends the vaccine
- Patients taking immune suppressing medications or a condition that suppresses the proper function of the immune system
- Teachers and students
- Cancer patients
- Heart disease sufferers
Flu vaccinations can help prevent or lessen the severity of the flu virus. In some cases, the flu vaccination is a life saver. This is because some flu viruses in severe cases can cause death in some people. Getting the flu shot can help avoid that possibility all together. Therefore, if your doctor says it is okay to get the shot it is best to do so every year before flu season starts. Not only is the vaccine helpful to you, but you are helping others by not contributing to the spread of it.
Where can you receive a flu shot?
If you are recommended to receive a flu shot you can get one at your doctor’s office, local clinic, and any pharmaceutical store that offers the vaccines. Some flu vaccines cost a small fee, but if you have health insurance you might be able to get it for free.
What are end thoughts to keep in mind?
The best way to stay healthy this year if you can is by receiving the flu shot. If you cannot you can prevent the spread of the flu virus by washing hands regularly, covering your mouth when you sneeze or cough and using antibacterial hand sanitizer.