- Eva Kavanagh
Flu Shots Season. Here We Go Again!
Who should get vaccinated this season?
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a flu vaccine every season. Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at high risk of serious complications from influenza. See People at High Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications for a full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk.
Why a flu shot every year in the first place?
Getting infected with the flu could be dangerous. Harvard Medical School reported there were patients in the ICU who were previously healthy but had a horrible response to a strain of the virus and became very sick.
Every year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other agencies release flu vaccination guidelines in late summer to early fall. The flu vaccines are usually available by the end of the summer season. Figuring out exactly which strains of flu viruses the vaccine should protect against is often complicated. Basically, experts look at the influenza virus strains that were making trouble in previous years, and attempt to predict which strains are likely to cause the flu in the upcoming season.
The inactivated flu vaccine is the form of flu vaccine that is most commonly injected and contains parts of the virus but no live virus. Therefore, you should not be infected with the flu from the vaccine itself. Some people may feel “sick” after the vaccine with symptoms such as mild fever, pain in the injection site, fatigue — all of which may just be your body mounting an expected immune response against the foreign virus particles. For the 2017-18 season, the CDC and Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) have recommended against the alternative intranasal live attenuated vaccine, due to concerns about its ineffectiveness during the previous seasons.
Flu can cause mild to severe illness, and at times can lead to death. Flu is different from a cold. Flu usually comes on suddenly. People who have flu often feel some or all of these symptoms:
runny or stuffy nose
sometimes diarrhea and vomiting
*It’s important to note that not everyone with flu will have a fever.
Most people who get influenza will recover in a few days to less than two weeks, but some people will develop complications (such as pneumonia) as a result of the flu, some of which can be life-threatening and result in death.
Sinus and ear infections are examples of moderate complications from flu, while pneumonia is a serious flu complication that can result from either influenza virus infection alone or from co-infection of flu virus and bacteria. Other possible serious complications triggered by flu can include inflammation of the heart (myocarditis), brain (encephalitis) or muscle (myositis, rhabdomyolysis) tissues, and multi-organ failure (for example, respiratory and kidney failure). Flu virus infection of the respiratory tract can trigger an extreme inflammatory response in the body and can lead to sepsis, the body’s life-threatening response to infection. Flu also can make chronic medical problems worse. For example, people with asthma may experience asthma attacks while they have the flu, and people with chronic heart disease may experience a worsening of this condition triggered by flu.
Flu shots season is here! Do not hesitate, get your flu shot at Century Medical in Salem, MA.
Book your appointment ONLINE or give us at 978-594-8980.