Tags: Flu | shots | influenza | vaccine | vaccination | benefits | side effects

How Getting a Flu Shot Can Change Your Life

Monday, 15 Nov 2010 03:35 PM

Influenza is a viral infection that generally takes a week to get over, but for some, it can lead to pneumonia and even death. Those at greatest risk are senior citizens, people with compromised immunity systems, and pregnant women. The best protection from the flu is immunization. So, can a flu shot change your life? Well, yes. And here is how it benefits.
When is influenza vaccine necessary?
Getting a flu shot reduces the chances of contracting flu by 80% during the season and can save you from fatal diseases. The vaccine contains inactivated flu viruses to prepare the body to combat live flu viruses. While the official flu season is between November and April, flu shots are usually offered from September and also given at other times of the year to everyone above the age of six months. You can even get flu shots during the flu season.
Alternative to influenza shots
An alternative to flu shots is the non-shot vaccine called the nasal mist vaccination. However, this vaccination only works for people with a strong immune system, in the age group of 2 and 49 years, as it contains live flu viruses. This nasal mist vaccine is not meant for pregnant women and for people with low immunity.
How and where to get flu vaccines and what are vaccination costs
Flu shots are widely available and can be found in doctor’s offices, clinics, university health offices, pharmacies and supermarkets, various community groups and even the workplace. The influenza vaccine is covered by Medicare, especially for senior citizens and other high-risk groups. Normally, flu shots cost anywhere between $10 and $50.
Side effects and flu shot risks
There are normally no side effects for flu shots. At times, people may have discomfort or puffiness at the injected area. Some other side effects include headache or low-grade fever. Flu shots do not cause flu.  The nasal vaccine, which is made from live flu viruses, can cause headaches, vomiting, fever, and muscular ache. 
Hence, with few to zero side effects, flu shots can definitely change your life for the good and keep you hale and hearty.

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