Did you know that November is National Flu Shot Month? Every year about this time, we are reminded to get the flu shot. This is not the Swine flu that I’m talking about. It is the common flu that most of us should be concerned about.
You may think that you don’t need the flu shot, which is how some feel, including myself, but it is important. If you get it, you can pass it on to others.
Those who are most prone to getting the common flu are those who have chronic health problems such as asthma, diabetes, young children and the elderly.
The following are those who should not hesitate about getting the flu shots:
> Anyone over age 50
> Anyone with a chronic health condition
> Anyone who lives with a person with a chronic health condition
> Anyone in contact with individuals such as hospital personnel or at-home givers and teachers
> Those who take care of babies under 6 months
> Babies and children between 6 months and 19 years of age
> Pregnant women
It is important to know that even if you’ve had the flu shot, it takes about two weeks for immunization to take effect.
It is also important for you to ask your doctor if you are a good candidate for this vaccination. While it is safe for most people, this vaccine is not recommended for everybody. Those who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs, who have had a severe adverse reaction to a previous shot, or have had Guillain-Barre Syndrome, it is advised not to take this vaccination. If you currently have an illness with fever, wait until you are better before you take the flu shot.
Where can you get the vaccination? You can get the shots at your doctor’s office, clinics, hospitals, and sometimes at your work. Walgreens Pharmacy also offers flu shots. To find a Walgreens near you, go to www.walgreens.com/flu or you can call 1-800-WALGREENS. It is important to get the flu shot every year.
There may be some side effects from the flu shot for some people, but it is nothing to be concerned about. Some side effects could be: soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given. There also could be a low grade fever. Again, this is nothing to worry about.
Some people may worry, as I had, that the flu shot can give you the flu. To ease your mind, this shot cannot give you the flu. The reason for this is that the virus that is used in the shots are killed, so it cannot cause an infection. The flu vaccine is tested to make certain that it is safe.
Once in awhile a person can get the flu shortly after receiving the vaccination. This is due to the fact that it takes the body two weeks to gain protection from the shot. A person may contact the flu before the vaccination took effect.
Source: Healthy Living in AARP magazine