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What You Should Know About Flu Shots
Many people view their annual flu shots either as a tradition or as a chore that needs to be crossed off a to-do list. Whatever you think about the vaccine, you know that it is meant to protect you from the flu and all its awful symptoms.
It does so much more than prevent the flu, though. A simple flu shot saves lives and prevents hospital visits.
Find out more about those shots you get every fall.
Interesting facts about flu shots
1. What is in a flu vaccine?
The basic concept of vaccination is to inject the patient with a weakened form of a disease-causing microbe so their body can produce antibodies that fight the disease.
This means that the flu vaccine is made up of the life forms that cause the flu, except the microbes are weakened or inert.
In most cases, the vaccine is "grown" inside eggs. Every year, medical researchers make flu shots to fight whatever strain of flu is in circulation that particular year.
2. When is the right time to get a flu shot?
It is important to remember that the vaccination needs two weeks to take effect. The flu virus becomes more active during the fall and winter. The CDC recommends that people get their flu shots in October.
A person that misses this "deadline" can still get vaccinated. The vaccine will work fine as long as the person does not get exposed to the virus before their antibodies kick in.
If a person gets the flu, they should still get the shot to avoid getting infected with another strain of the virus.
3. Who should get a flu shot?
Any person over the age of six months should get the vaccine. The flu shot is especially useful for people with vulnerable immune systems, like pregnant women, the elderly and people with chronic conditions.
A medical professional will administer a flu vaccine that will suit the patient's age and medical situation.
4. Who should stay away from the vaccine?
For starters, people who are allergic to antibiotics, eggs, gelatin or any other components of the vaccine should be extra careful. They should consult their doctor about their allergies before getting a vaccination. The doctor will look for an alternative form of the vaccine.
5. What are the benefits of the shot?
The flu shot has a host of benefits, for example:
- It can prevent the flu
- If a vaccinated person gets sick, the flu shot can make flu symptoms less severe, which in turn can save the person from a hospital stay
- The flu vaccine protects pregnant women and new mothers from developing flu-related complications
- The vaccine protects people with chronic conditions from developing flu-related complications
6. Side effects
For some people, the vaccine will cause a mild fever and a slight drop in energy levels. The person may also feel some soreness at the site of the flu shot. These symptoms are nothing to worry about.
However, if the patient swells up and develops breathing problems, they should get to a hospital immediately because they may be allergic to something in the vaccine.
Do not go through this season without your shot
Falling sick is no fun, and it is best to avoid it if you can. If you have not received your flu shot, visit our New Caney clinic.
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