Flu Vaccinations- Information and tips to keep you and your family healthy this flu season

Check out information and tips about the flu shot in this article from Wellness Coaches USA!

Who should get vaccinated?

The CDC offers following general recommendations as to whom should receive a flue shot:

  1. Children ages 6 months to 19 years old
  2. Pregnant women
  3. Adults ages 50 and older
  4. Individuals who have chronic medical conditions regardless of age
  5. People who live in long-term care facilities or nursing homes
  6. Individuals who care for r live with people at high risk for complications from the flu, including:
    1. Health care workers
    2. Household contact of people at high risk
    3. Household contact and caregivers of children less than 6 months old

Who should NOT get vaccinated?

It is important to consult you doctor or medical provider before getting the flu shot. Make sire that you let your doctor or medical provider know if:

  1. You have ever had a severe allergic reaction to eggs or a previous flu shot.
  2. You have a history of Gullain-Barre’ Syndrome (GBS)

Let your physician know if you have a fever at the time of the scheduled vaccination so you can reschedule for another time when you do not have a fever. You can still get the vaccination with an upper respiratory illness without a fever or other mild illness.

Your Best Defense

Influenza, more commonly known as the flu, is a virus that infects millions of people each year and causes serious health complications especially in the elderly and children. Each year in the United States over 200,000 people are hospitalized with complications from the flue. About 20,000 of those hospitalizations are children under the age of 5. Each year 36,000 people die from the flu. It is a serious disease and the best defense against the flu is a vaccination. There are two types of flu vaccinations. Since the vaccines change depending upon the most prevalent strains, the CDC recommends annual vaccination.

Vaccinations

There are differences between the two vaccinations and it should be up to your medical provider to determine which vaccination is right for you.

Flu Shot Nasal Spray
Administered through a needle Administered through a nasal spray
Contains killed or dead viruses Contains live, yet weakened viruses
FDA approved for ages 6 months and older FDA approved ages 2 years to 49 years
Can be used in people with suppressed immune systems, chronic medical conditions, pregnant women and those at risk of contracting the flu Approved for us in only healthy individuals without chronic medical conditions, weakened immune systems or who are not pregnant
May be available for free at local clinics, workplaces and pharmacies, usually covered by insurance Not as readily available and may not be covered by insurance

What are the Side Effects?

Flu Shot

Side Effects of the flue shot are usually minor and should only last 1-2 days. They include:

  1. Soreness, redness and swelling at the shot site
  2. Fever (low grade)
  3. Aches

Most of the side effects are not serious, however, on a very rare occasion a sever allergic reaction can occur. If you have this you must seek immediate medical attention.

Nasal Spray

Although this is live virus it is severely weakened and should not cause symptoms associated with the flu. Some of the common side effects in children and adults are:

  1. Runny nose
  2. Sore throat
  3. Cough
  4. Headache

In some children, side effects include wheezing, fever, vomiting, and muscle aches.

Will I get the flu from the flu shot?

Each batch of the vaccine produced is tested for safety. If a person gets sick after receiving the flu shot, it is most commonly due to a bug already in their system that their body is no longer able to fight.

Other ways to Protect Yourself

Although flu vaccinations are the best defense against getting the flu there are other steps that people can take to help protect themselves from the flu as well as other viruses. These include:

  1. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is 60% alcohol.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth whenever possible.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or cloth when you cough or sneeze.
  4. Avoid crowded places when the flu is at its worst.
  5. Practice good hygiene and urge those around you to do the same.

Source: Wellness Coaches USA

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Flu Vaccinations- Information and tips to keep you and your family healthy this flu season was last modified: August 26th, 2014 by Sarah McGorry