The flu shot is a vaccine that protects against influenza (flu). It is a safe and effective way to prevent the flu. It can also help protect against other, serious forms of influenza (like H1N1) that can cause hospitalization or even death. The flu is a contagious respiratory illness that spreads easily from person to person through coughing, sneezing and close contact. This article will explain everything you need to know about this shot. How it works, who should get one and when, what side effects are common, and more.
How Flu Shot Works:
The flu vaccine is made from parts of three different viruses that are selected each year and then grown in eggs. The viruses used to make the vaccine change every season, and they usually match the strains that are circulating in the community at that time.
When you get a flu shot, your body’s immune system recognizes these three viruses as foreign invaders and makes antibodies against them. If you come into contact with one of those strains later on, your body will be ready to fight it off more quickly; in other words, the vaccine gives your immune system a head start.
Who Should Get It And Who Shouldn’t:
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendation, everyone over the age of 6 months should get a flu vaccine, including:
Children between 6 months and 5 years old:
The vaccine is considered safe for children 6 months and older (unless they have a medical condition that prevents it). Children between 6 months and 5 years old should get two doses of this shot—the first one at least 4 weeks before flu season starts, and the second dose no sooner than 8 weeks after the first dose (but not later than 6 months).
Adults 50 years old and older:
People in this age group should get the flu shot, especially if they have a high risk of developing serious complications from the flu. To find out if you qualify as having a high risk of developing serious complications from the flu, visit your doctor or local health department.
Getting vaccinated during pregnancy is safe for both mom and baby (though it’s best not to get vaccinated within 28 days after giving birth).
Adults 19 to 49 years old:
People in this age group should get the flu shot who have chronic health conditions (like asthma or heart disease) or a weakened immune system. Otherwise, it’s safe for them to get vaccinated.
Benefits of Flu Shot:
Getting the flu shot not only protects you from getting sick but also helps prevent spreading it to others.
Studies show that people who get vaccinated are less likely to be hospitalized with severe complications from the flu and also have a lower chance of dying from it.
The flu shot protects against three or four strains of influenza (the virus that causes the flu).
It’s safe and effective and can reduce your risk of getting the flu by up to 60%.
It’s important to get a flu shot every year because the virus changes from season to season and there are new strains of influenza that haven’t been seen before.
You can get the flu shot at your doctor’s office, a pharmacy, or during a clinic visit.
Side Effects Of Flu Shot:
The most common side effects of flu shots are soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site. These side effects usually go away within a few days.
Other possible side effects may include headache and fatigue. If you experience any serious side effects after getting a flu shot, contact your doctor right away.
The flu shot is a good way to keep yourself healthy, but it isn’t perfect. If you do get the flu after getting vaccinated, it’s important to remember that your body may just not have responded well enough to fight off the virus. The CDC also recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months should get a flu vaccine every year. If you’re pregnant and in your second or third trimester, it’s especially important to get a flu vaccine.