Don’t Want the Flu this Year? Get a Flu Shot!

Posted by Pharmacist on October 21, 2012

In a July 2012 press release The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated “the single best way to protect against the flu is to get vaccinated each year.” The CDC reports between the years of 1976 and 2007 as many as 49,000 people have died over the course of one flu season, which runs from October to May; roughly 90 percent of these deaths occur in people aged 65 and older.

There are two types of flu vaccines: a flu shot and a nasal spray. The vaccines are trivalent, which means they guard against the three influenza viruses health care researchers believe will be most prevalent during the flu season. The vaccines help the body develop protective antibodies approximately two weeks after vaccination.

So who needs the flu vaccination? According to the CDC, everyone over the age of six months needs the vaccination as protection against the flu virus. In particular, people with asthma, chronic lung disease and diabetes along with pregnant women and people over the age of 65 should get the vaccine because they are at high risk of developing pneumonia or other serious medical complications. The same can be said for people who live with or care for those who are in that high risk category.

Of course there are those who should not get the vaccine. As mentioned this includes infants under the age of six months, but there are others who may have an adverse reaction as well. Those who have had severe reactions from past flu shots, people with allergies to chicken eggs and anyone with Guillain–Barré Syndrome should not get a flu shot. If you are ill and have a fever, wait until you’re well to get your vaccination.

The flu shot is not a guarantee you won’t get sick during the current flu season. However if you do become ill the shot can reduce the chances of complications related to the flu.

The CDC advises you to get your flu shot as soon as they’re available in your area. Contact your physician or local pharmacy to schedule your shot; additionally some workplaces may offer the vaccination as part of their worker wellness programs.

For more information:

What You Should Know for the 2012-2013 Influenza Season

Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Influenza

 

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