Flu season is here, and it’s not pretty. If you’re feeling uneasy about getting vaccinated, here’s a quick overview of the pros of flu shots and the cons of flu shots.

Pros of Flu Shots

Being protected from the flu is the most apparent advantage of receiving a flu shot! The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that the flu vaccine is the most effective method of flu prevention.

No matter how much vitamin C you pump into your immune system, you’ll never be as protected from the flu as you would with a vaccine. However, if you do catch influenza, one of the pros of flu shots is that you will feel less sick. The vaccination will ultimately make your symptoms milder and more manageable.

Another pro of flu shots is that it leads to a reduced risk of flu-related complications and hospitalizations within groups of people who cannot receive the flu shot yet.

This group includes pregnant women and their infants, people with chronic lung disease, and those with chronic cardiovascular disease. Speaking of groups of people, getting a flu shot is simply doing your part to protect your entire community from influenza. The more people receive the flu shot, the more the community will be protected from the flu as a whole.

Cons of Flu Shots

One of the biggest cons of flu shots is not being able to receive it.

Although the flu shot is safe for virtually everyone, one flu shot con is that children less than six months of age cannot safely receive the vaccine.

Another flu shot con is that there is a small chance that you will still contract influenza. Contracting the flu usually happens during the two weeks it takes for your body to develop immunity from the flu.

For two weeks after you receive the vaccination, take as many precautions as you can to prevent getting influenza, because you can still catch it.

You can also catch the flu if you didn’t receive the right vaccine match.

Because the vaccine is developed months before the flu season starts, there’s always a chance that the researchers who produce the vaccine will end up picking strains of it that are different than the strains of flu going around that season.

If the strains match, then your vaccine will be a good match and provide you with more immunity.

One of the cons of flu shots is still contracting the flu when your body isn’t immune yet. This usually happens within two weeks of receiving the vaccine.

Another con, while rare, is that some people experience severe allergic reactions to the flu shot within minutes to hours of receiving the vaccine. Some symptoms that people experience include breaking out into hives, having a difficult time breathing, a rapid heartbeat, dizziness, and swelling around the eyes and mouth.

These allergic reactions can range from mild to severe, and if they occur, talk to your doctor or go to the emergency room. Lastly, one of the cons of flu shots is developing Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare medical condition where your immune system starts to attack your peripheral nerves. Although this case is extremely rare, there is still a minimal chance that the flu vaccination can trigger the condition. If you’ve experienced this before, definitely speak to your doctor before getting the flu shot.

Keep you and your children safe this flu season! Schedule an appointment at one of our many locations to get vaccinated as soon as you can. Our experienced staff at Fox Medical Centers is here to help.

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