When Should You Get a Flu Shot?
Once the autumn leaves start falling, the virus comes out of hiding, like a villain held in prison by the sun. The weather starts getting cold, and it rears its ugly head and declares another season of invasion. The usual time that we experience the prevalence of the Influenza virus is from October till about March. Luckily, we have an answer of our own. An army of bodyguards, surfing through the bloodstream, moving from cell to cell, making sure we are kept safe from any attack. The only thing we need to do to assist them and get them mobilized is just an earlier warning of these bad virus, and within a short period they are battle ready and our defense, clinical. Therefore it is safe and reasonable to make an effort to get the flu shots anytime between September and March. Although there’s no harm in protecting oneself even till March, it will be extremely uncomfortable to be down with flu during the summer when everyone is having a good time.
Should Everyone Get a Flu Shot?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), everybody that is older than six months is eligible to receive influenza vaccination even females that are pregnant can also receive it. Children younger than six months and very few rare cases of life-threatening allergies that should be exempted, for instance, people with egg allergy should not receive the recombinant influenza vaccine. But, everybody especially people older than 50 years should be among the first to receive the shots. Because the immunity of old ones is much lower than the general population and they may yet experience a reduction in the level of their resistance over time. Hence getting the shots first because whatever defense they may have built over time from the diet would not be strong enough to protect them when they get exposed to the virus.
Can I get a Flu shot With a Cold?
Definitely, one can still get the flu shot even if one has a cold. Common cold does not stop the administration of the flu vaccination. The only thing that may need monitoring with children who have a common cold is their fever. If it gets higher than 101 Fahrenheit, one could take the precaution of waiting for the temperature to subside before allowing the child to receive the dose of the vaccine. There may be a delay in the time it takes the body to develop immunity to the strains of the Influenza virus vaccine being given when someone is moderately sick. The explanation is simple. The protective mechanism set in place to defend the body against diseases is already battling with an ailment, so when a Flu shot is introduced, even though it won’t cause harm to the body system. The body will have to take a longer time to develop immunity to that strain of flu because it is already burdened with the current illness being combatted.
But, if it is just coughing, nasal congestion, sore throat, the body’s immune system would be able to perform its duty reasonably well. If one feels a bit uneasy, this may just be the body process of defending itself against the newly introduced foreign body. Although some people may react to the flu shots one or two days after taking it, these reactions are never as severe as the symptoms of the real flu disease.
How Often Can You Get a Flu Shot?
There are quite some ways one can get the flu vaccine, but one should not think that getting vaccinated more than once mean stronger immunity. When one gets the flu shot once in a year, one will get the full protection from the viral infection. It takes a while for the immunity to be optimally ready after administration, a little around half a month and the immune system will have developed appropriate memory cells against the strain of Flu. The importance of receiving the vaccination cannot be overstressed; one should not think taking it a year ago will cover for the several years. Because the influenza virus mutates annually, and the body needs to recognize the new strain to be able to destroy it, hence the efficacy of the yearly shots.
Is it Too Late for the Flu Shot?
Generally, the flu shot starts being administered around September, and most people start getting it towards the end of the year. However, the virus itself can be in the air for a very long period, sometimes stretching to as far as May in the following year. The reason why it is good to take the shot whenever you can, as far as one has not been through the episode already is that it is highly unpredictable. The pattern of spread and prevalence changes from time to time, it is, therefore, safer to just be protected against it with every chance one gets. Risking being struck with full is dangerous because it can result in financial stress, hospitalization and if not managed well can even become fatal. So, even though the more appropriate practice will be to get the flu shots early enough between September and December, it is never really late to seek protection from the virus and get vaccinated.
One should not hesitate in receiving the flu shot because it protects one and community. There are several misconceptions about the flu shots. Some stories about the shots causing autism in children at a point but studies have shown that is not true. This was based on the assumption that there was mercury in the shots given to those children, but studies have shown that Thimerosal, the preservative in the vaccines, contains ethyl-mercury that is readily broken down and released from the body. Some other ones were about it predisposing people to other severe respiratory diseases, and this has also not been proven to be accurate or consistent. Others even they might even get infected by taking the shots, none of these are true. Great work has gone into making sure that vaccines are safe for use and they are stored and transported with utmost care.
Vaccination: Who Should Do It, Who Should Not and Who Should Take Precautions | Seasonal Influenza (Flu) | CDC. (2017). Cdc.gov. Retrieved 8 February 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/whoshouldvax.htm
Misconceptions about Seasonal Flu and Flu Vaccines | Seasonal Influenza (Flu) | CDC. (2017). Cdc.gov. Retrieved 8 February 2018, from https://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/misconceptions.htm
Duda, K. (2017). Why You Shouldn’t Get a Flu Shot While You’re Sick. Verywell. Retrieved 8 February 2018, from https://www.verywell.com/what-will-happen-if-i-get-a-flu-shot-while-im-sick-770545