- Personal Health Information & Self-Help
The flu shot vaccine. Why you should get a flu shot...
How does it spread?
- Coughs and sneezes from other people, when their germs land in your mouth or nose, you can catch it
- Touching surfaces the virus is on, then touching your eyes, mouth, or nose
What is the flu?
The "flu", also called influenza, is an illness caused by one of the many viruses on our planet. Some lucky individuals only experience the flu as a minor cold. But for many, the flu can be very serious, and even life threatening. The flu can cause pneumonia, dehydration and respiratory distress. People who contract the flu generally have fever, chills, and a cough, but can also have a very bad sore throat, runny nose, muscle aches, headaches, vomiting, fatigue and diarrhea. It's very unpleasant and can easily eat up those sick days from work that you'd rather spend doing something enjoyable. Especially since this virus generally takes 1-2 weeks to run its course within your body. Why take the chance of having the flu? Just get vaccinated and enjoy many more months of good health. Your body is your only vessel here. Take good care of it.
Do you get a flu shot every year?
Do you vaccinate yourself and loved ones from the flu each year?
Why you should get a flu shot
Flu season is upon us. Flu season starts in the fall and peaks in January and February.
A lot of people are against flu shot vaccines, but here is why you should get one. First of all, the best way to avoid getting the flu, is by getting the flu shot. Vaccines of every kind cause the body to develop antibodies about two weeks after exposure to the vaccine. This protection can last several months and even up to a year from contracting the flue. Seasonal flu shots are developed after many hours of detailed research has been done and researchers have tried to predict which virus will most likely occur for that particular year. Do flu vaccines protect from every strain of the flu? No. And virus's do mutate and adapt to their living conditions. But getting the vaccine gives your body the upper hand in developing antibodies against many strains of viral invaders. Think of antibodies as the front line troops that fight foreign material in your body. When the flu enters your body, the antibodies say "hey, I know you, and you're not welcome here, ATTACK!" They go to war for you, to keep you healthy. According to the CDC-Traditional flu vaccines (called trivalent vaccines) are made to protect against three flu viruses; an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and an influenza B virus. In addition, there are flu vaccines made to protect against four flu viruses (called “quadrivalent” vaccines). These vaccines protect against the same viruses as the trivalent vaccine as well as an additional B virus.
Flu shots are especially important for the elderly, young children, and those with compromised immune systems.
Other ways to protect yourself from the flu
- Frequently wash your hands and avoid touching high traffic surfaces such as hand rails, telephones, light switches, elevator buttons (use your sleeve) and door knobs.
- Avoid those you know that are contagious until they recover.
- Take a good multivitamin and drink plenty of water.
- Use antibacterial gels and soaps when shopping.
- Disinfect your home with Clorox wipes and Lysol spray.
Those who should avoid inactive flu shots
- Those with severe (life threatening allergies) including allergies to eggs.
- Do not get a flu vaccine if you have Guillain-Barre Syndrome GBS.
- If you are currently not feeling well, get it when you feel better.
Those who should avoid live virus flu shots
- Again, those with serious allergies.
- Those with Gullain-Barre Syndrome, GBS.
- If you are currently not feeling well.
- You should get the flu shot instead of the nasal spray if you:
- are pregnant, or think you may be pregnant
- Have certain long-term health conditions
- If you have asthma
- If you are on long-term aspirin therapy
- If you are a caretaker for someone with special needs or someone that has a compromised immune system.
- Anyone 6 months old or younger-this applies to both inactive and live virus flu shots.
Possible flu shot side effects
- Temporary symptoms that mimic the flu, fatigue, headaches, red or itchy eyes, cough, and sometimes fever. This is normal as your body begins making antibodies, and typically only lasts 1-2 days.
- Allergic reactions.
- Soreness, redness, or tenderness at the injection site, usually only lasting a few days at most.
- Those who have had a previous bad or severe reaction to a flu shot should not get another.
- You cannot get the flu from a flu shot.
Free flu vaccines
- Essentials of a First Aid Kit
It's always a good idea to have a First Aid Kit handy, because you never know what life will throw your way. Here are the essential items you should have in your First Aid Kit(s).
Where to get a flu shot free or cheap!
A lot of companies offer their employee's free flu shots on site. But that is not the only place to get one, even if you don't have health insurance.
You can also get your flu shot free or at a discounted rate at;
- CVS Pharmacy
- Rite Aid
- Minute Clinics
Avoid the flu
Getting vaccinated protects not only yourself, but others. Avoid the misery the flu can cause by getting your vaccine, and staying healthy.
The safety of the flu vaccine is always being monitored, for more information visit the CDC website.
Talk to your doctor about your concerns with getting a flu vaccine, the pro's outweigh the cons.
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© 2013 Rebecca