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Flu Shot Dangers: What You Need to Know

Tuesday, 17 December 2013 12:44 AM

Every year, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention urges people to take their annual flu shot to prevent influenza from spreading, but medical experts and patients have always had conflicting opinions about flu shots. Does the vaccine actually work? What does it contain? What do consumers need to know about the flu vaccine? What are the long-term effects of the flu shots on the immune system? Let us find out.
Vaccine Types and Side Effects

At present, the flu vaccine is available in two forms. An intradermal injection is available that contains inactivated influenza virus. Patients may experience some side effects that include redness, swelling, pain, coughing, or itching at the injection site. Most of these side effects subside in three to seven days. A live attenuated intranasal vaccine is also available as a nasal spray. It contains active but weakened influenza virus. It causes side effects like nausea, vomiting or headaches that subside in three to seven days.
Very rarely, patients may develop life-threatening illnesses that may require emergency medical care. According to the CDC, both forms of the flu vaccine need about two weeks for the immune system to develop complete immunity, and the protection flu shots offer can last anywhere from a few months to a year.
Long-Term Effects of the Flu Vaccine

Researchers point out that the long-term effects of flu vaccines are still not well known. According to studies, a flu shot could predispose patients to Alzheimer’s disease. One study has shown that people who had regularly taken flu shots for three to five years had a 10-times higher chance of developing symptoms of Alzheimer’s. The vaccine is also purported to contain preservatives like thimerosal, which convert to ethyl mercury inside the body. This compound contains about 50 percent mercury by volume and is a potent neurotoxin. Medical experts agree that additional research into the long-term effects of the flu vaccine are required to comprehensively determine its effects on the human body.  

A review of 51 studies has shown no evidence that the flu vaccine was effective in preventing flu. However, the CDC claims that the flu vaccine reduces the incidence of flu by 70 to 90 percent. This is a wide range, and this difference occurs due to several reasons. In children, the flu vaccine is only effective about 65 percent of the time due to their weaker immune system. This is also the reason why the flu vaccine does not work well in the elderly. In addition, the vaccine is not indicated in pregnant women, patients with Guillain-Barre syndrome and people with severe allergies. 
The Bottom Line

The flu vaccine is efficacious for healthy adults and it manages to keep them working during the flu season. However, flu shots have some known side effects and maybe some unknown side effects as well. The final decision to get inoculated rests with you. 

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Controversy has long existed about flu vaccination. Annually, patients complain about side effects and flu infections even after getting flu vaccines. Make an informed decision after reading our article.
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Tuesday, 17 December 2013 12:44 AM
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