Health & Wellness

Here Is Why You Need Flu Shot Every Year

Last week I went to Walmart on Route 73, I notice the pharmacy at Walmart is offering flu shot now. Then I realize the flu season begins. Based on a study about flu vaccine from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are still more than half of adults age 18 and older not yet received a flu vaccine in recent years. So, understanding the importance of the need for flu vaccination is necessary.

What Is Influenza

Influenza is a kind of respiratory infection that can cause serious complications, occurs often to young children, senior adults or people with particular conditions. To prevent the misery of flu and its complications, getting influenza vaccines are the best way to protect you from it. The CDC recommends that everyone gets flu shots annually.

How Does Flu Vaccine Work

The flu vaccines prompt your body to get ready to fight infection from the flu virus. It helps you creating antibodies, to fight the virus when you’re exposed to it. The vaccine does not contain flu, it takes up to two weeks to build immunity after a flu shot. Usually, the best time for people to get their flu vaccine is by the end of October. Medical professionals encourage people to begin vaccinating as soon as the flu vaccine is available. However, you can still protect yourself against late flu outbreaks if you get the vaccine in February or later.

Common Flu Symptoms

It can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms: fever or feeling feverish/chills, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, muscle or body aches, headaches, fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, though this is more common in children than adults.

Why You Need A Flu Vaccine

Influenza is a contagious illness caused by flu viruses. It can be mild to severe, with severe illnesses possibly resulting in hospitalization or death. Elder people, young children and people with particular health conditions are at high risk for serious flu complications.

Besides that, taking flu vaccines is the most effective way to prevent illness caused by the seasonal influenza virus. The CDC estimates the flu vaccine can lower an individual’s risk of flu-related illness around sixty percent. But the effectiveness may vary from year to year based on how closely the flu vaccine matches circulating flu strains and other factors.

Why Do I Need Flu Shot Every Year?

Flu Virus evolves every year. Last year’s vaccine may not able to protect you from this year’s flu viruses. In other words, our body’s immune response to the vaccine gradually declines so that we need an annual vaccine to provide continuous protection. As mentioned earlier, flu viruses are constantly changing. That is another reason why we get the flu vaccine every year. When you go to a pharmacy or doctor’s office getting vaccinated, your immune system produces antibodies to protect you from the virus included in the vaccine.

Who Should Not Get The Flu Shot?

In common,  people with allergies to eggs shouldn’t get the flu shot. Most types of flu vaccines contain a small amount of egg protein. If you have a severe egg allergy, there are flu vaccines that don’t contain egg proteins and are FDA approved for use in people age 18 and older. However, if you have a mild egg allergy, you may still able to receive the flu shot without any additional precautions. The vaccine has such a low amount of egg protein that it’s unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. Anyway, Consult your Doctor or Pharmacist first.

Except people with allergies to egg should not get flu vaccines, people experiencing any of these health conditions listed below should not take flu vaccines.

  • If you had severe reactions to the previous flu shot
  • Babies under 6 months old.
  • Anyone who had Guillain-Barre syndrome within 6 weeks of getting a flu vaccine, or
  • People with life-threatening allergies to vaccine ingredients

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By Connie

Connie is the Lead Massage Therapist and General Manager at Wonderland Spa.

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