What You Need to Know About The Flu Shot

If you’re considering getting a flu shot this year, the CDC agrees. About 5% to 20% of Americans get an annual flu. However, if average Americans would simply take the opportunity to take a flu shot or influenza vaccine, deaths and hospitalizations would decrease. Over 200,000 people are hospitalized and nearly 36,000 people die annually.

October through May is typically influenza season, so from the beginning of the season to November are the best times to get the influenza.

Two versions of flu shots are available for adults and children. There is the less frequent nasal influenza vaccine named FluMist (LAIV), which typically doesn’t cause any side effects but there are exceptions, of course. Then there is the traditional flu shot, which utilizes a live virus. It contains an inactive virus given intravenously.

Both versions spur antibody development in the body. These in turn creates protection against the virus, although it can cause muscle aches and general fatigue during antibody production.

The best candidates for flu vaccination are those 50 years or older, adults and children 6 months or older with lung conditions, diabetes, chronic kidney condition and asthma as well as women who will be pregnant during the flu season.