It’s November folks and you know what that means.
No, I’m not talking about Thanksgiving or the possibility you haven’t started your holiday shopping yet.
I’m talking the I word … Influenza. And how you, like a number of people, are wrestling with the idea of getting the flu shot or not.
Well, while you’re deciding, Physicians First Messages wants to provide you with a few facts you might want to know before you ultimately make that decision.
For starters, according to WebMD, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized annually in the United States because of influenza and, sadly, up to 49,000 die each year because of flu-related causes.
Many believe prevention is the key. Ideally, WebMD suggests getting your annual shot by Thanksgiving. The flu season is considered to be between October and May.
Contrary to popular belief getting the flu shot can NOT give you the flu. The vaccine is made with a dead or weakened form of the flu virus which can’t give you influenza.
Oh, you don’t like the fact that you need to get vaccinated every year? Well it’s a must, considering flu viruses change. Therefore, flu vaccines must also change since each vaccine is unique, according to what health officials believe will be most threatening each year.
It’s been long suggested that people allergic to eggs should avoid the flu shot, BUT, according to WebMD, the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology believes the vaccine contains such a low amount of egg protein that it’s unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. You should, however, talk to your doctor first if you have a
severe egg allergy. There are, by the way, vaccines without the use of eggs available.
It should be noted that there are other options if you are not enamored with getting a shot.
The nasal spray FluMist vaccine is approved for healthy, non-pregnant adults up to 49-years-old. However, it is NOT recommended for the 2016-17 flu season, according to WebMD.
There is also a needle-less option for people between 18-64-years-old … the jet injector vaccine with Alfuria, which uses a tool and high pressure to deliver the vaccine.
Remember, there’s the possibility of side effects including low-grade fever and soreness. However those symptoms usually only last a day or two. In addition, keep in mind that it takes up to two weeks for the flu vaccine to kick in.
Is the flu shot for you? That’s up for you to decide, but Physicians First Messages is happy to help make your choice easier.
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