Flu season is a dangerous time. Especially for children, who are surrounded by other children all day long. As well, people who work with children – such as teachers, day care workers, etc. may even be more susceptible to the flu if they are not careful with cleanliness. How do you know if you need a flu shot? The answer: you should get one every year! Below are some more tips about flu shots:
Are you at risk?
The flu, or influenza, is a serious problem and illness. In an average year, 5 to 20% of people will contract the flu. In a normal year, influenza also causes more than 35,000 deaths! It also causes more than 150,000 hospitalizations in the US alone. It can affect people of any age. However, deaths are mostly among those who are 65 and older.
Young children, older people, and those with special health conditions may be at high risk for seriously complications with the flue. These complications can include ear infections, sinus infections, bacterial pneumonia, dehydration, and worsening of already chronic medical conditions.
How do I know if I need a flu shot?
It is recommended you get a flu shot if
You want to greatly decrease your risk of influenza.
You are at a high risk for complications from the flu:
- You are pregnant
- You are 50 years or older
- Have any chronic medical conditions
- Live in a nursing home
- Are a child aged 6 months to 5 years old
You care for or live with those at high risk for complications, including:
- Health care workers
- Household contacts and out of home caregivers of children less than 6 months of age
- Household contacts of persons at high risk for complications from the flu
I’ve heard the flu vaccine can give me the flu. Is this true?
No. There is simply no way that this could be true. Why? Well, for one, injected flu vaccines only contain a dead version of the virus. A dead virus can’t infect you! There is only one type of virus flu vaccine that is live, and that is the nasal vaccine. This virus is specially engineered to remove the parts that make you sick.
Even though experts will repeat this time and time again – that this is scientifically impossible – this myth will continue to perpetuate. Sometimes, there may be side effects from the vaccine, but this is not the flu. These side effects could be a sore arm or mild symptoms of the flu, but you do not have the actual disease. Flu season also coincides with the time of year when common colds are widespread. People may get the vaccine, then contract a cold, and be convinced they have gotten the flu.
There are many things to consider when getting the flu vaccine, but all in all, it’s truly beneficial to you! At Las Vegas Urgent Care, we offer these vaccines and can help answer any questions you may have on the subject. In the end, having this vaccine will help you – and you’ll be glad you did it!