All You Need to Know on Flu Shots and their Importance

icare• How Do Flu Shots Work?

The flu is a virus that constantly changes and adapts every year. This is why it is so widespread and difficult to avoid. To keep up with the rapid changes in this virus new vaccines are developed to help people battle them throughout the seasons. Prior each known flu season, health experts predict which type of flu is most likely to increase and hence use that information to create the appropriate vaccine for the season.

The main function of a flu shot is to help your immune system to produce the right antibodies which aid your body in effectively fighting the virus. These antibodies help the body to fight off the types of flu virus that are present in the vaccine. It takes about two to three weeks after receiving the flu shot for these antibodies to fully develop and reach their most effective state.

• Who Needs Flu Shots?

While some may be more prone to infection than others, it is recommended that everyone six months of age or older be vaccinated against the flu. Flu shots are not 100 percent effective in preventing the flu. However, they are still the most effective method to protect against this virus and its related complications.

Certain groups of people such as pregnant women, people over the age of 50, children between 6 months and 5 years and people with chronic medical conditions, have high risks for catching flu and developing potentially dangerous flu-related complications. It is crucial for people in these high risk groups to be vaccinated.

• Who Should Not Get a Flu Shot?

Some people should not get a flu shot. These include people who:
• Have had a bad reaction to the disease in the past
• Are severely allergic to eggs. If you are mildly allergic, talk to your doctor, as you may still qualify for the vaccine.
• Are allergic to mercury. Some flu vaccines contain trace amounts of mercury to prevent vaccine contamination.
• Had Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare side effect of temporary paralysis that occurs after receiving the flu vaccine. Some individuals at high risk for complications and who have had GBS may still be eligible for the vaccine. These individuals should talk with their doctors before receiving another vaccination.
• Have fever on the day of the vaccination. These individuals should wait until the fever is gone before receiving a vaccination.

• Side Effects of Flu Shots

Most people incorrectly assume that the flu vaccine could give them the flu, but flu shots are safe for most people. Although you cannot get the flu from the shot, some people may experience flu-like symptoms within 24 hours of receiving the vaccine.
Possible side effects of the flu shot include:
• low-grade fever
• swollen, red, tender area around the injection site
• chills or headache

Symptoms are typically mild and go away within a day or two. These few well minded information will help parents be prepared and give them a better understanding of the importance of flu shots. Flu shots will be available at all iCARE Multi-specialty Clinics.

iCARE Multi-specialty Clinics were designed & developed to provide the absolute best in healthcare . Accessible 365 days a year, the friendly, efficient staff at iCARE offer the very best in medical care with particular emphasis on affordability and ethics in healthcare.

Credit By : Dr. Shakeel Ahmed (Specialist Internal Medicine), iCARE Multi-specialty Clinics

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