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Do I Really Need a Flu Shot?

flu vaccineFlu season is here again, and almost everyone asks himself/herself the following questions:

Do I really need a flu shot?

Is it necessary every year?

Does it really work?

Here are a few important facts about the flu vaccine that we all need to know.

1. What is Influenza?

Influenza is a very contagious disease caused by the influenza virus which can be spread by coughing or sneezing.

Anyone can get influenza, but children do get infected the most.

Influenza has the following symptoms that last a few days:

  • fever chills
  • sore throat
  • cough
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • muscle aches
  • runny nose

2. How Often Should I Get a Flu Shot?

Flu viruses change so quickly that they might make one season’s vaccine ineffective by the next season.

This is why you should get a flu shot every year.

3. How Effective is the Flu Vaccine?

According to research of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the flu vaccine is 70% to 90% effective in warding off influenza in healthy people under age 65.

4. How Dangerous is Influenza?

The bad thing about flu is that it can cause high fever and pneumonia, and make existing conditions worse.

Unfortunately, each year thousands of people die from influenza and many people require hospitalization.

5. How Can I Protect Myself From Influenza?

You can protect yourself from influenza by getting a flu shot. This will also help to avoid spreading the flu to other people.

Most people 6 month of age and older should get flu vaccine.

6. Can Everyone Get a Flu Shot?

Not everyone can get flu vaccine though.

If you have any severe or life-threatening allergies to any vaccine component, most likely you should not get a flu shot. 

If it’s not the case, get your flu shot as soon as possible. This will provide protection if the flu season comes early. Most influenza occurs from October through May.

7. Is it Safe to Get Flu Vaccine?

The risk of a vaccine causing serious harm is extremely small unless you are allergic to it. You can not get influenza from the vaccine since the viruses in it have been killed.

After you get a flu shot you might experience a few mild problems like:

  • headache
  • fatigue
  • aches
  • fever

It usually takes me 2 to 3 days to recover from my flu vaccine, and after that I am in a great shape for a whole year.

8. Where Can I Get a Free Flu Shot?

I got my most recent flu shot at Safeway, and surprisingly my insurance company “Blue Cross” covered it 100%! At the same time, for getting my flu shot done at Safeway I got a coupon for 10% off my groceries. So it was a win-win situation for me.

So if you have health insurance in place and are asking yourself: “Where can I get a free flu shot?”, there are quite a few places like Walgreens, CVS Pharmacy, grocery stores, etc. that offer flu shots in town, so I would take advantage of their offer.

If you’d like to avoid the flu and its potentially serious complications, always try to get an annual flu vaccination.

Getting a flu shot is a good choice for most people, but you should always consult your doctor before you get one.

What do you do to stay healthy all year round? Do you get a flu shot on an annual basis?


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7 Responses to “Do I Really Need a Flu Shot?”

  1. Steve Says:

    You have some great tips in getting a flu shot. It’s great to get one every year and really important to do it if you’re older or at risk of getting seriously hurt with the flu. The flue is something people can have serious complications with.
    Steve recently posted..How to Beat the Illusion of LimitationsMy Profile

  2. cj Says:

    Ha!!! Just saw a sign for these at the grocery store and asked myself whether I needed it. Looks as if I do! Thanks for the timely advice, Elena!!!

  3. Elena Says:

    No problem CJ! Always glad to help. Thanks for stopping by and checking out our article!

  4. Elena Says:

    I totally agree with you Steve. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Thanks for your feedback!

  5. Daisy @ Prairie Eco Thrifter Says:

    I work in health care, so I require the flu shot. I get it, because of that, every year. I think it’s important to get it if you will be in contact with anybody vulnerable – which you most likely will, even second hand.

  6. Elena Says:

    You are absolutely right Daisy! It’s better be safe than sorry! Thanks for your feedback! Have a good one!

  7. Robert Says:

    Thanks for the very detailed article. However, I’m no longer sure what I should think about those flu shots. My mother got one 3 years ago and a few months later she got the flu for the very first time in her life. Also, since then she caught a cold at least once a year, whereas prior to the flu shot, she had a cold maybe 3-4 times in her entire life.
    Robert recently posted..How To Get Into The Flow, Turn Work Into Play & Fun And Achieve Extraordinary ResultsMy Profile

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