Every year, health officials suggest that people get the flu shot to avoid becoming sick, especially children and the elderly. Although the flu is a common ailment and is usually treated successfully, it can still be deadly for those with compromised or undeveloped immune systems. However, the flu vaccine is not always effective and can make those who receive sick with the flu.
What is in the Flu Vaccine?
The flu vaccine is delivered either through an injection or it is now available as a nasal spray for those who abhor an injection, such as children. It is recommended that anyone six months of age and older receive the vaccine when it is available in their area. Unfortunately, there isn’t always enough vaccine to be issued to everyone that wants it and health officials have to prioritize it to those who are susceptible to getting ill.
Although most officials say the vaccine doesn’t make people sick, it does contain inactivated flu viruses that usually do not cause the flu. The nasal spray contains weakened live flu viruses, which can cause an infection in the nose, but it cannot infect the lungs or other warmer areas of the body. Even though the vaccines don’t cause the flu, they do have side effects.
Flu Vaccine Side Effects
There are both mild and serious side effects associated with receiving the flu vaccine, whether through an injection or the nasal spray. The side effects associated with the injections are:
“The injection sight may become sore, swollen, or become red.
Some people may faint, particularly adolescents.
Some of the mild side effects that can be caused by the nasal spray are:
There are more serious reactions experienced by some people who have the vaccine and they may include:
Swollen eyes or lips
Changes in Behavior
Reasons to Get the Flu Vaccine
Although some people are reluctant to get the flu vaccine, there are reasons the injection or spray should be taken. The flu shot usually helps protect those who receive it against three to four strains of the flu, including the H1N1 strain, otherwise known as swine flu. This flu caused a worldwide pandemic in 2009, resulting in approximately 203,000 deaths worldwide, which is 10 times higher than originally estimated thought.
The Centers for Disease Control in the United States had estimated that the H1N1 strain caused about 60.8 million cases just in the U.S. The best defense against this flu strain is the flu vaccine.
Many businesses and medical insurance companies offer the flu vaccine at no charge because it can help reduce employee absenteeism during the flu season. If you have never had a negative reaction to the flu vaccine, receiving it at no cost can be a good way to ensure your health during the flu season, especially if you work in close proximately with the general public or in the health profession.
If you have a young child or if you have a phobia of needles, you don’t have to receive an injection to get the flu vaccine. The vaccine is now available through a nasal spray, which is the version that is recommended by the FDA for everyone from two-years-old to 49 years of age. The FDA only recommends the inactive flu vaccines for those 50 or over.
Reasons to Skip the Flu Vaccine
If you have an allergic reaction to eggs, you should not receive the flu vaccine, whether it is the injection or the nasal spray. The flu vaccine is cultivated inside of chicken eggs and could cause a deadly reaction in people allergic to this poultry product.
Even though officials claim that flu vaccines do not cause the flu, some people who receive it do experience a mild case of the flu. In addition, the flu vaccines does not protect against all strains of the flu. The injections or spray usually only protect against three to four strains of the flu. It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to kick in and start protecting against the flu.
Many people are cautious about getting the flu vaccine because it contains mercury, which is used as a preservative for the vaccine. Even though mercury is used in a small amount, mercury can build-up and it has been linked to brain and nerve disorders. However, for those who have a weak immune system, they may need to take the risk to avoid getting sick the flu.
The flu is still a dangerous disease for many people and each year, about 200,000 people in the U.S. are hospitalized with the flu. Some of those hospitalized do succumb to the flu. However, receiving the flu vaccine keeps the vast majority of people from getting sick.