Flu Shots - Moving Beyond the Myths
October 15, 2018
October 15, 2018
At RapidMed Urgent Care Center, we provide an extensive list of services to anyone who walks into our facility. This includes any urgent care needs, along with the multitude of health issues that can be categorized under primary care. We are here for you seven days a week, whether you visit our offices, or prefer to contact us from your computer, tablet, or phone. But did you know that we also supply flu shots? Flu season has certainly arrived, and you should strongly consider protecting yourself from having to endure the problematic effects of this unwanted illness.
It’s that Time of Year Again: Flu Season
The Government Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that anywhere from 5%-20% of the US population will be confronted by influenza in any particular year, and an average of 200,000 Americans will need hospitalization due to the illness. As you are already aware, the undesirable effects of the flu can include: chills, body aches, fever, and extreme fatigue. In some cases, the flu can also be life-threatening.
Fortunately, the simplest way to protect yourself from having to deal with this illness is to simply get a flu vaccination. However, some people remain hesitant about receiving this vaccine. If you are among those who have concerns about getting vaccinated, or if you know someone who has significant concerns about the process of protecting themselves against the flu virus, then it is wise to address any misconceptions that might exist. Any uncertainty that could keep you or someone you love from receiving a vaccination, is very likely based upon one of several common myths. By eliminating any unnecessary worries, you can proceed with peace-of-mind toward protecting yourself with a flu vaccination. Influenza can potentially become serious, and it is advisable that you avoid the risk that could occur if you don’t receive a vaccination during the current flu season.
Will The Flu Vaccine Give You The Flu?
First, let’s examine the most common myth, which is that the flu vaccination itself could give you the flu. If this is a specific concern that you are have, it should be reassuring to know that the Government Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that a flu vaccine cannot cause the flu. These vaccinations are given in one of two ways – either with a flu vaccine virus that has been inactivated, or with proteins from a flu vaccine virus rather than an actual flu vaccine virus. In each case, the injection contains elements that have been weakened, and therefore cannot cause the flu illness. To put it another way, the flu vaccine that you receive is very different than being confronted by the virus itself. Because the injection has been created with an inactivated form of the virus or virus components, and they cannot cause you to be infected.
Can’t You Just Deal With The Flu, Instead Of Getting The Vaccine?
Another flu myth is that it is somehow better to persevere if you get the flu, rather than protecting yourself with the flu vaccine. However, this is not a desirable plan, because the flu can be a serious disease. Especially with young children, older adults, or people with chronic health conditions such as asthma heart disease or diabetes. The actual flu disease can also carry risk of serious complications, hospitalization, or death. Even for those who had been healthy prior to contracting the illness.
As a result, there is substantial evidence that getting vaccinated is a better choice than undergoing the risk of flu illness itself. Some people have reported mild reactions to the flu vaccination, with the most frequent side effects including soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot was given. Low-grade fever, headaches, and muscle aches sometimes occur. However, if they do, they usually begin soon after the shot has been given, and last just one to two days. Plus, it is highly unlikely that they will occur, and more serious allergic reactions to flu vaccines are extremely rare.
Is There Anyone Who Should Not Receive A Vaccination?
There are some exceptions to the overall recommendation of being vaccinated, and ensuring that your family members also receive the vaccine. Anyone who has a severe allergy to eggs, or has previously experienced a severe reaction to a flu vaccination, should avoid being vaccinated. This is also the case for anyone who has developed Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS) within six weeks of getting an influenza vaccine, or for anyone who is already dealing with a moderate or severe illness.
However, the vast majority of people are not included in these categories, and they should strongly consider the advantages of receiving a vaccination. The flu vaccine prevents thousands of people from being hospitalized each year. It also reduces the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant women by as much as one-half. Being vaccinated can also shelter the people around you from contracting the illness from you. This includes anyone who would be most vulnerable, including babies, young children, older people, and those who contend with chronic health conditions.
Finally, it is also important to remember that the flu vaccine will bolster your body’s response to the actual influenza virus if you consistently receive the vaccination on an annual basis. Partially, because the virus continually undergoes modifications each year, and the flu vaccine is also adjusted in order to increase the chances of performing effectively against the viruses that are more likely to become prevalent in each particular year.
Any of us would prefer to evade any possibility of having the flu, and the simplest way to protect yourself from having to contend with it is to receive a flu vaccine. If you still have questions, there are resources available to you that will supply the details concerning virtually any aspect of seasonal flu vaccinations, including the Government Center For Disease Control And Prevention:
If you would like to obtain more information about the flu or flu vaccines, the government also generates annual estimates concerning influenza vaccinations in the United States by using data from multiple National surveys.