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What's This?

Massachusetts has already had 6 confirmed cases of Influenza–so flu season is OFFICIALLY here.

Have you gotten your flu shot yet?

The CDC recommends the flu shot be given to:

  • Everyone over 6 months of age (since these little babies are too young to receive the vaccine themselves, they rely on the adults and children around them to be vaccinated)
  • People with asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease (or that live with or care for someone with these conditions)
  • Pregnant women
  • People over 65 years

Have you heard of the Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine?? WHAT??? NO needle??  Yep.  It’s an option for healthy people ages 2-49 years who are not pregnant.

Now wait, are you trying to get out of this because you think you have a contraindication? According to the CDC, the people who should not get a flu shot:

  • anyone with a severe reaction to eggs
  • anyone with a severe reaction to a previous flu shot
  • anyone who has had Guillain-Barre Syndrome that occurred after receiving a flu vaccine.  (In this case, you should still talk with your doctor)

For the rest of you, go get your shot.  I got mine, and I’m a BIG BABY about needles.  Remember,  it’s way worse to get the flu!

Other questions:

  • Will the flu shot give me the flu?  NO.  The flu shot is made of inactivated (killed) virus particles, so it cannot cause infection.  In studies, they compared people who got shots of saltwater (and you thought your job was rough!) in their arm to those who got the flu shot (so people would not know what they received), and there was no difference in body aches, fever, couch, runny nose, or sore throat.
    • You may feel soreness in your arm (full disclosure: I did).  Sometimes, as your body makes antibodies to the virus particles, some people feel a little discomfort, but this is uncommon, mild, and will only last about 1-2 days.  (and, REPEAT AFTER ME: It’s worse to get the flu!)
  • How effective is it?
    • It depends on the person (and how early you got the vaccine before being exposed to the flu), but it’s the best thing we have to prevent the illness.   Even for people who get exposed to the flu after the vaccine and get some degree of illness, research shows that they are still LESS sick than if they had not gotten the flu shot.
  • I’m still not convinced.  How can I find out more?  Go to the CDC website on the Seasonal Influenza
  • Ok, where can I get a shot?  Go to the CDC Vaccine Locator to find out more!

 

 

 

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