Should you get a flu shot?

Should you get a flu shot?

Flu shots are an effective way to prevent influenza, a respiratory infection with potentially serious complications particularly for young children and older adults. Each year, the flu shot is developed to protect against the strains of flu expected to be prevalent. This year’s flu shot offers protection against the H1N1 virus, as well as two or three other flu viruses that are anticipated to circulate.

The flu shot doesn’t provide 100 percent protection from influenza, but according to the CDC, it’s typically 71 percent effective in reducing flu-related hospitalizations in adults and 74 percent effective in reducing hospitalizations in children. After getting the flu shot, it takes the body up to two weeks to build immunity, so it’s recommended to get the shot before flu season starts, though you can still benefit from it even after flu season begins.

What is the flu vaccine?

The influenza vaccine comes in two forms: a shot or a nasal spray mist. A flu shot contains an inactive vaccine made of killed influenza virus. The shot won't cause you to get the flu, but it will enable your body to build up antibodies against the virus.

The nasal mist vaccine contains a low dose of live but weakened flu viruses. It's approved for use in healthy people 2 to 49 years of age. Women who are pregnant should not get the nasal mist. Like the flu shot, the nasal mist creates an immune response to the flu virus.

Who should get the flu shot?

The CDC recommends the annual flu shot for anyone 6 months and older, with a few exceptions. Different flu shots are approved for individuals of different ages, as well as for use in pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions. A high-dose flu shot is available for individuals 65 and older, as the elderly are at higher risk of serious complications from the flu.

Chronic health problems can also increase one’s risk of complications from the flu. Some health conditions that could put you at higher risk include:

  • Asthma
  • Cancer or cancer treatment
  • COPD
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Diabetes
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Kidney or liver disease
  • Obesity

Children 6 months to 8 years old may need two doses of the flu vaccine, given at least four weeks apart, for full protection.

Who should not get the flu shot?

Infants younger than 6 months are too young for the flu shot. Individuals who have severe, life-threatening allergies to any ingredient in the flu vaccine—such as gelatin or antibiotics—should not get the vaccination. If you aren't feeling well, have an allergy to eggs, have ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome (a paralyzing illness) or have had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccine, talk to your doctor before getting the flu shot.

Where is the flu shot available?

The flu shot is available in your doctor’s office, as well as most pharmacies. To find a flu vaccine provider near you, use this tool. Or visit us on one of the dates listed below to receive a flu shot for $25 (ages 10 and up).

4:30–6:30PM, November 4
Arbor Room, Goshen HealthH

6–8PM, November 6 (First Fridays)
The Nut Shoppe, 204 S, Main St.

6:30–8:30AM, November 11
Heritage Room, Goshen HealthH

4:30–6:30PM, November 16
Heritage Room, Goshen HealthH

6–8AM, December 10
Heart & Vascular Center
1855 S. Main St.

4:30–6:30PM, December 17
Heritage Room, Goshen HealthH

Posted: 11/02/2015 by Goshen Health
Filed under: flu, health, vaccine, wellness

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