We know getting a shot isn’t on your top five…or ten…or 100 favorite list of things to do. But if one itty bitty shot can keep you from getting the flu all winter why wouldn’t you get one!
According to the Centers for Disease Control, most people should get the flu shot each year, and if you haven’t gotten it yet this year you should.
Who Should Get a Flu Shot?
Pretty much anyone who can read this. It’s recommended everyone over 6 months old should get a flu shot…every season.
It’s extra important some groups get vaccinated.
We’re talking about:
- Kids 6 months through 5 years old
- People over 50
- People with chronic pulmonary (like asthma), cardiovascular (except hypertension), renal, hepatic, neurologic, hematologic or metabolic disorders
- People whose immune systems don’t work as well as they should (including immunosuppression caused by medications or by HIV)
- Women who are pregnant or will be during flu season
- People 6 months to 18 years old getting long-term aspirin therapy
- People who live in nursing homes or other chronic care facilities
- People who are morbidly obese
- Health care workers
- People who live in a house with kids under five or adults over 50
Can I Get the Flu From the Shot?
NO. The flu shot doesn’t have the active flu virus in it, so there’s no way you’ll get sick from getting the shot. The flu shot can cause side effects that might seem like the flu, but they’ll be much less severe than getting the flu bug.
If you feel like you have the flu after you got the flu shot either:
- You were exposed to the flu before getting your shot or in the two week period it takes for the shot to protect you.
- You caught something that seems like the flu (but really isn’t).
- You were one of the not so lucky ones to get the flu strain not included in the vaccine…which stinks. Flu vaccines are made to protect against the main flu viruses researchers say will be the most common each year. Unfortunately there’s no way to know for sure which flu viruses will be floating around this year, so there’s no guarantee the shot will cover all of them.
- You’re one of the rare people who get the flu even though you’ve been vaccinated. You didn’t get it BEACAUSE of the vaccine, you got it even though you got the shot…which also stinks.
I Hate Needles!
Don’t we all? The good news is you can get the flu shot without actually getting a shot. There’s a nasal spray version approved for people between 2 and 49 years old. You shouldn’t get the nasal spray vaccine if you’re pregnant and if you have certain medical conditions such as asthma you might want to think about getting the shot…sorry.
No matter how you choose to get it, you should make sure you’re vaccinated against the flu this year. What are you waiting for?