Who Should get a Flu Shot?

Influenza, or flu, is a viral infection characterized by sore joints, fever, chills, muscle pain, and restriction of the airway. The flu kills thousands of people of all ages every year, especially young children, the elderly, and the immunocompromised. Fortunately, a flu shot can vaccinate against the flu. The flu shot is reformulated every year to provide immunity to the most virulent strains of flu in circulation. While getting a flu shot is usually a good idea, certain individuals should definitely get one.

There are two types of flu shot. The first is the classic injectable shot, which is made using a killed virus. There is also a nasal spray available, which uses a weak form of live virus and is appropriate for individuals who are not pregnant and who are also between five and 49 years of age. Both vaccines protect against several A and B strains of flu, typically the most virulent. Approximately two weeks after being vaccinated, the patient will have formed protective antibodies. For this reason, most doctors recommend that flu shots be given in October or November to protect against the bulk of flu season, which usually starts around November.


The most important populations to vaccinate are children between six months and five years of age, individuals over 50, and people with chronic medical conditions which could be severely impacted by flu infection. Examples include people with respiratory complaints such as asthma and emphysema, people with chronic heart and lung problems, cancer patients, and other immunocompromised individuals. Individuals who are paralyzed should also get a flu shot, along with other people who need an unrestricted airway such as people subject to seizures or patients with nerve disorders.

It is also important to provide a secondary layer of protection for vulnerable populations. For this reason, health care workers, teachers, and day care workers who are able should all get a flu shot every year. In addition, if you have close contact with an immunocompromised individual, such as a cancer patient or a sick elderly person, you should receive a flu shot. If you interact frequently with babies under six months or older people, getting a flu shot would be an excellent idea as well.

Certain people should not get flu shots, including people with egg allergies, individuals under six months of age, people who have had adverse reaction to previous flu shots, and anyone with a fever or illness. People who have experienced Gullain-Barre syndrome after a flu shot should also avoid future shots. If you are unsure about whether or not a flu shot is appropriate, consult your doctor.



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Post 3

If I already had the swine flu should I still get the flu shot?

Post 1

Have MS, is the flu shot OK to take this year? or would a relasp start with this needle?

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