Pros and Cons of Getting the Flu Vaccine

vaccine

Pros and Cons of Getting the Flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine has been the topic of controversy the last couple of years. Many feel that it is not effective while others swear by seeing their doctors and getting their shots every flu season. As with everything in life, there are pros and cons to receiving an annual flu vaccine. In this article, we present both sides of the discussion so you can make an informed decision for yourself and your family.

There are 2 different ways you can receive the flu vaccine. The first way is through a shot and the other is a nasal spray. Here are the pros and cons to consider:

PROS

1) The vaccine protects you from many strains of the flu virus.

Unlike before where the vaccine protected you from the H1N1 strain,it has been reformulated to protect against several additional strains of the flu virus.

2) No need to use needles.

Many of us may have a huge aversion to needles. Thankfully, the flu vaccine is also offered in the form of a nasal spray. There is no need to fear the pain from the needles anymore.

3) It is given free of charge.

For those who may not have medical coverage or money to pay costly copays, no need to worry. There are many places that offer the flu vaccine at no cost if you qualify. Some schools and workplaces even offer them for free.

4) You cannot get the flu from this vaccine.

Contrary to the belief that this vaccine will give you the flu, it is designed to protect you from the flu. The doctor will inject with a much weaker version of the virus, which your body will be able to combat and then build up antibodies against.

5) You can save your sick days for more important things.

When you get this vaccine, you will be much less likely to suffer from the flu, meaning you will have to cash in fewer sick days for yourself and you can save them for other more pressing matters.

CONS

1) You may be allergic to the vaccine.

This vaccine is made from the inside of a chicken egg, which can possibly cause an allergic reaction to those who are allergic to eggs. Consult your doctor before receiving this vaccine if this applies to you.

2) It does not cure completely.

A flu shot does not a guarantee you will be free of the flu completely. The possibility of catching a different strain that may not have been covered by your vaccine still exists.

3) It contains Mercury.

There is the presence of mercury in this shot, however, it is not a problem for everyone. If you do not react well to products containing Mercury, you may want to consult your doctor before receiving the vaccine.

4) The protection from the flu will not start immediately.

Though it depends on your immune system, this vaccine starts working in our bodies within two weeks.

5) Side effects.

Though they are not severe, the vaccine has its possible side effects. See a doctor you feel sick after taking the shot.

Bottom Line.

Prevention is better than having to be cured, but as you consider whether or not to get the flu vaccine this year, make sure to get all the information and discuss any questions you may have with your doctor beforehand.

Dr. Sue Reddy specializes in the treatment of infectious disease among many other specialties. She understands what is required to live a healthy, active life. Please feel free to take a look around her website and if you feel she provides services you may be interested in, give Dr. Reddy a call. Her staff would be more than happy to set up an appointment and answer any questions you may have.