Why You Need a Flu Shot
While most people regard Influenza (The Flu) as an unpleasant inconvenience, it is actually a dangerous infection. Many people are surprised to learn that influenza can result in serious complications, including hospitalization and/or death. To minimize your risk of contracting the flu, it is important to get vaccinated every year. To understand the benefits of the flu shot, it helps to understand the unpredictable nature of this common virus.
Who is Most at Risk of Complications
It is impossible to predict exactly how each person will respond to the flu. Everyone is susceptible to Influenza complications. However, young, old, and immune-compromised individuals are most at risk. Fortunately, modern flu vaccines drastically mitigate this risk; but only if you take advantage.
How Flu Vaccines Work
By introducing a dead or weakened form of the influenza virus into the body, flu vaccines cause the immune system to generate antibodies that protect against the most common strains. There are many different types of Influenza vaccines. The traditional vaccine is a “trivalent” and it helps protect against three specific flu strains, including H1N1, H3N2 and influenza B.
Safe and effective, flu vaccines are appropriate for anyone over 6 months of age, unless
they have potentially life-threatening allergies to vaccine ingredients such as eggs.
Although some people worry about the safety of flu vaccines, these life-saving immunizations have been used for over 50 years.
Some people worry that the vaccine will cause them to acquire the flu; however, this is a myth. In certain instances, you may experience mild side- effects, including redness, soreness or a low-grade fever. More often, you will not notice any side-effects.
Flu vaccines do not provide permanent immunity. For this reason, it is important to get vaccinated every year to keep your immune system armed and ready against that season’s flu outbreak.
Some people have the misconception that the Flu shot will protect them from common colds. It is important to clarify that the Flu shot will help protect you from the most common strains of Influenza. It does not provide any protection against a common cold.