The authorities recommend that you get a flu vaccination in time, as the shot vaccination starts in 2 to 4 weeks.
Flu vaccination reduces the risk of getting sick and reduces the severity of the flu if you get it.
It is recommended for most people over 6 months.
Experts recommend that you get a seasonal flu vaccine as soon as possible to ensure the best protection.
This is because if you wait until the middle of the season to get a flu vaccine, you can risk your health, the health of your loved ones and the health of your community. And the sooner you take the flu vaccine, the better.
Every year in the United States of America, between 4,000 and 55,000 people die from the flu, depending on the severity of the strain.
Although the vaccine is not 100% effective, it significantly reduces the risk that influenza poses and especially the risk of secondary infections, hospitalization, intensive care admission, and death. The benefits of the seasonal flu vaccine go far beyond our own backyards. When we think about population-based vaccines, it is worth getting vaccinated, but there is also value for the community. When enough people in the community get vaccinated the number of flu transmissions can go down dramatically.
The importance of early vaccination
After vaccination, protective antibodies against the flu virus can develop in the body within 2-4 weeks of vaccination, so it is important to be vaccinated in time. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and the Trusted Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend injecting influenza vaccine at the end of October to prepare for the flu season that normally takes place in February.
It is impossible to predict when the flu will start, so the CDC recommends that the prior vaccination should have time to develop immunity and protection throughout the flu season.
The AAP has published revised guidelines that include recommendations for the vaccination of children 6 months and older. The AAP has also not expressed any preference between influenza vaccine and the nasal vaccine.
Wrong Assumptions about the vaccine
There are many common misconceptions about flu vaccines, for example, that the vaccine itself can cause the flu and that healthy children are not at risk. Sadly in most seasons, about half the children who die from influenza are healthy.
Still many people think that they do not need flu vaccination.
Who should and who should not get the flu shot?
The CDC strongly recommends that all people over the age of 6 months receive a flu vaccine.
In particular, some people should make early vaccination a personal priority.
These persons include:
- pregnant women
- Adults older than 65
- Children under 5 years
- People with certain diseases
However, the seasonal flu vaccine is not suitable for everyone. There are certain groups of people who need to see a doctor before they can continue with the annual flu vaccine.
For example, children under 6 months should not be given a seasonal flu vaccine because it is not very effective at their age.
If someone has had Guillain-Barré syndrome in the past, a disease affecting the central nervous system associated with a flu vaccine, they should consult their doctor before receiving a flu vaccine.
In addition, people who are allergic to eggs may worry about the ingredient in the egg that is used to develop the vaccine. Researchers have collected a lot of data about people who are allergic to eggs and have been vaccinated against influenza. The number of people who have had bad reactions to the shot has been so low that they no longer recommend that these patients wait.
The future of the flu vaccine
Deviations from the seasonal flu vaccine are becoming more common. While some can reduce the risk for certain population groups, such as the elderly, others come with their own conditions.
For instance, there is a live vaccine, another type of vaccine that is administered intravenously but contains additional warnings for people with immunodeficiencies caused by conditions such as AIDS and certain cancers. Also persons undergoing chemotherapy must consult their doctors first.
It is always useful to ask questions about the vaccines you are getting and to assess with an expert what is best for you.
There are some companies that have developed vaccines for the elderly, so if you are 65 years of age or older, you can talk to your doctor about one of the specially developed vaccines that are right for people your age.
If you are not sure whether a flu vaccine is right for you, talk to your doctor before proceeding.