The Flu Shot: Pros And Cons

During the cold weather, the flu can spread rapidly and cause health concerns for individuals of all ages.  With an influenza outbreak in full swing in New York, keeping our patients informed on the benefits of a flu shot is important.  While it’s not too late to get a flu shot, there are various pros and cons associated with the flu shot we want to present to ensure you make the best decision.

Flu Shot 101

There are four types of flue vaccines. The top three recommended shots are the standard flu shot, a high-dose flu shot for those 65 and older, and an intradermal-administered shot for those who are needle-phobic. While some people may be concerned with getting sick from the flu shot, these three vaccines do not contain the live virus but instead two proteins that compose influenza. 

Statistics show that over 200,00 people are hospitalized from the flu and another 400,000 die from flu related causes.  Flu shots are usually seasonal, depending on how the virus changes over the year.  The holiday season is the best time to get a flu shot. Children and elderly people are advised more than others to take preventative measures when it comes to influenza.

Pros

According to the Center for Disease Control, those who receive their flu shot are 70% less likely to catch the flu.  They also claim that it is one of the safest medical products in use.  Many doctors argue that by protecting yourself against the flu virus, you will be less likely to spread the disease.

By preventing influenza, you are protecting yourself from other complications like chest infections or other existing conditions. Especially with elderly people, receiving the flu shot decreases their chances of dying from the flu 80%. Simply by receiving one flu shot you are protecting your body from three stains of influenza. Pregnant women are encouraged to get their flu shot because it can help reduce pregnancy complications associated with the disease.

Cons

While there are various pros to why getting your flu shot is important, there are a few cons that may make you reconsider this vaccine. Flu shots only reduce someone’s chances of getting sick but do not boost your immune system and your body’s ability to fight the flu.  The flu shot is not immediately effective and does not work if you have already contracted the virus.

Similarly to any drug or medication, there are various side effects associated with getting a flu shot including for concerns for those with egg allergies. A small amount of mercury is found in the vaccine which has created polarizing opinions on the shot.

So, should you get the flu shot?

This decision is completely up to you.  Consider these pros and cons and determine which is best for you to stay healthy during the flu season. 

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