All About the Flu Shot

Everyone dreads flu season, especially if they have children in school or daycare, because they know that eventually the flu will make its’ way into their house, making everyone miserable. When your children are sick, you feel bad enough without being sick yourself.

Receiving flu vaccinations has long been a way to try to prevent the contraction and spread of this potentially deadly virus. This vaccine is now given in tow forms, the traditional shot, and a nasal spray. The shot can be given to babies that are at least six months old, but children have to be at least 5 years of age to receive the nasal spray. Once you have been vaccinated, your body can take up to fourteen days to develop immunity to the virus.

Most cases of the flu aren’t on the scene until around October, and lasts generally until about May. Unfortunately, in recent years doses of the vaccine have not been available to the entire population, as it has been rationed out to those people who are termed at high risk for infection and deadly complications. People usually included in the high priority groups are healthcare workers, children between six months and five years of age, any person affected with any kind of immune disorder or disease that affects the body’s ability to fight infection, and the elderly. Young children and the elderly are typically at a high risk because of poor immune systems as well. The symptoms of the virus tend to be more dangerous to these people.

It is important to still take precautions against the flu, even if you do receive the vaccine. Remember, that there are many factors that contribute to its effectiveness, and that you can never be too cautious when it comes to your health. During peak season, try to avoid over crowded public places, use antibacterial sprays and cleaners in your home, and most importantly, wash your hands often, and teach your family to do so as well.

As with any vaccine, there are some cases of serious side effects, and if you are concerned, check with your primary physician for advice first. If you have had a reaction before, make certain that you inform your healthcare provider so that they can make an informed decision in deciding if the benefits outweigh the risks in your particular case. The flu usually just makes you feel really rotten for a few days, but it has been responsible for many deaths over the years as well. If you suspect you have come down with the virus, see your doctor immediately. There are some medicines that if given early enough, can help lessen the symptoms, perhaps making it a little more bearable for you.

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