ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Flu Shot or Flu Mist-Two Ways to Vaccinate

Updated on November 25, 2007

Every year we have Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, you know--all the holidays we know and love. The season includes many get togethers and parties. There is another part of this season, actually a season all its own. Not only do we share gifts and love---we share illness.

Flu season begins sometimes as early as October and some years can last into May. Peak is generally between late December and early March. During this time, approximately 5-20% of the population will come down with the influenza virus. Of those who get the flu, 200,000 people will require hospitalization, and the most sobering statistic is this, 36,000 people will die from influenza related complications.

The influenza virus in actually not just one virus, but various viruses that cause the same or similar symptoms. The flu generally hits fast, and it hits hard. Symptoms that include headache, fever, fatigue, cough, sore throat, body aches, chills, and sometimes may include a runny or stuffy nose, vomiting, and diarrhea.

Influenza is spread through contact with nasal or throat secretions. Primarily from a cough or a sneeze. Droplets from these can travel up to three feet. The Flu virus can live longer on surfaces than cold viruses, but the jury is still out as to just how long. It may be as long as 48 hours. So you can get this virus from direct inhalation of droplets from an infected person, or from touching objects that have the virus on them, and then touching your nose, eyes, or mouth.

If you do come in contact with the virus, as a general rule, it is one to four days from exposure to symptoms.

Why not avoid the flu if possible? Getting a vaccination against influenza is not a guarantee that you will not get the flu, but it is the very best insurance policy that we have.

The CDC has set up certain recommendations They are:

Those at higher risk for developing complications from the flu

Children 6 months old to Children up age 5 years

Pregnant women

People 50 and over

Anyone with certain chronic medical conditions

Those living in nursing homes or any long term care facility

People who are caregivers or live with anyone in the "higher risk" group

Anyone who is a "household contact" of a person who is considered higher risk for complications from the flu

A caregiver or a "household contact" of a child less than 6 months of age ( they are too young to be vaccinated)

Healthcare Workers

They then continue to say that anyone who wants reduce the likelihood of becoming ill with influenza or spreading influenza to others should consider vaccination.

This is the first year that FluMist has been approved to include children aged 2 to 5 years of age. Previously it was only approved for healthy adults and children 5 and up.

So what are some of the advantages and disadvantages of having the Flu Shot compared to FluMist? Essentially for a healthy person, both will get the job done, but I will give you a brief breakdown.

FluMist is a nasal spray. It contains live, attenuated virus. This means that the virus is weakened. It is also referred to as LAIV (Live Attenuated Influenza Virus). It is approved for healthy people ages 2 to 49 years of age. It is not for pregnant women. Some studies suggest that the protection given from FluMist is better than from the traditional flu shot. This is because of the fact that antibodies from the shot are only built up in the blood, where the immune response in stimulated both in the nose and in the blood in FluMist. Generally the nose is where the influenza virus first enters the body-so the war on the virus is beginning more quickly on a first line basis.

The downside of FluMist is that it is a live, but weakened virus. This, it is speculated can lead to some viral shedding and a very low possibility of transmission to others.

Side effects of FluMist can include:

In children -fever, body aches, runny nose, headache, wheezing, and vomiting.

In adults-runny nose, headache, sore throat, cough

The flu shot of course involves a needle stick. For many children this is almost impossible to get them to sit still for. Something to think about and factor in. Yet, it does have some advantages. If you live with someone with a chronic health condition, there is that very slight risk of transmission to them from taking FluMist. This would be enough for me to go with the shot. The shot is recommended essentially for everyone except children under the age of 6 months. Including those with certain chronic medical conditions.

Side effects of the Flu Shot can include:

Soreness, achiness, redness, or some local swelling where the shot was given

A low grade fever

Aches

Of course, there is the possibility of allergic reaction. These are rare, and make sure to tell your nurse and doctor if you have egg allergy or sensitivities, or if you are allergic or sensitive to Thimerosol. Many vaccines have removed Thimerosol, but just be safe and make sure to let them know if you are sensitive to it.

When you go in for your influenza vaccine, you and your doctor can discuss which is best for your situation.

Another thing to consider is timing. The optimal time for vaccination is October. That way you have built your antibodies by the time flu season is really gearing up. It takes a full two weeks to get full coverage. Plus if you do it then, you are covered for all those holiday parties and family gatherings. But, if you didn't get it in October, it is still worth it to go in and get that vaccination anytime during flu season.

Jennifer Garner--Don't Flee the Flu Shot

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • harrisdy profile image

      hdy 

      8 years ago from Texas

      great hub!

    • RenaSherwood profile image

      RenaSherwood 

      10 years ago

      Informative and kinda frightening. I sware the last time I got a flu shot, I got the flu, but apparantly you can't get the flu from getting a flu shot.

    • Michele Engholm profile imageAUTHOR

      Michele Engholm 

      10 years ago from Hutchinson

      THX Ponnu. Flu is nothing to mess around with. Thanks for reading!

    • ponnu profile image

      Sreethi 

      10 years ago from Mumbai

      nice hub and also very interesting.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)