Overall health

Flu vaccine- Yes or No?

After a bout of flu a few weeks ago, I am definitely going to say yes. I am usually not a sickly person at all, I would maybe get the sniffles during the winter and a cough here or there, but other than that I never really got sick. But this year is a different story. I was down with aches and pains, coughing, sinus, and some serious fatigue. I was really weak as well, I had zero stamina. Obviously this was not very fun.

It got me thinking that next year, I will go for the vaccine. In light of recent events, (the new flu strain being harsh, especially in the USA), it is probably better to get vaccinated. You may be thinking that if you are healthy and young, you may not be at risk. It is true that illness often affects young children and elderly people a lot worse, but every now and then, your body may just be run down, or you may have slacked on the healthy practices that are usually high priorities in your life. It happens sometimes. Prevention is better than the cure!

Whilst flu is hardly something that most of us dread, it is truly an uncomfortable experience, and while having a good rest is very beneficial, its horrible to worry about things that you may need to do. One of the best ways to get over flu is rest. Lots of rest, fluids (water and tea, etc), and vitamin C. Its best to take at least a few days off to rest and get well. Flu can lead to worse illnesses if left untreated or allowed to worsen, such as pneumonia. If there is a possibility of preventing flu or lessening the symptoms, it sounds pretty good to me. Here are the facts.

According to WebMD, there are different types:

  • The traditional flu shot is an injection into your muscle. It’s made from pieces of flu viruses.
  • Egg-free flu shot. Unlike other flu vaccines, this one is not grown inside eggs. It’s an option for people who have egg allergies.
  • The high-dose flu shot is for people age 65 and older, who may need a stronger dose to get the same protection.
  • An intradermal flu shot uses a tiny needle that only goes skin deep. It’s for people ages 18 to 64.
  • Nasal spray flu vaccine (FluMist). No needle necessary with this. It’s made from weakened, live flu viruses. Another name for it is LAIV (live attenuated influenza vaccine). It’s for healthy people ages 2 to 49 who aren’t pregnant and who don’t have weak immune systems. Check with your doctor to make sure it’s the right choice for you.

You can chat to your doctor/ nurse / pharmacist to see which is best for you. The flu shot doesn’t cause flu. It helps you build antibodies that fight against the flu virus, kind of like putting a suit of armour onto your immune system specifically designed to protect against flu. Although, some people can catch flu before their bodies have had enough time to build up those antibodies. It takes around two weeks.

There are some reasons why it may be better to speak to your doctor first, here they are, according to WebMD:

  • You’ve had an allergic reaction to a flu shot in the past.
  • You’ve had Guillain-Barre syndrome that happened after you got the flu vaccine. That’s a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks part of the nervous system.
  • You’re very ill. If you have a mild illness, it’s OK to get vaccinated. Otherwise, talk to your health care provider.

It is up to you to decide whether you want to get vaccinated of course. Read up on it, there is a lot of info out there if you need more. But from me, yes! I would not like to get flu again if I can help it! Obviously things still happen, and I’m sure I will get it at some point again, but I’m all for trying to prevent it. Stay healthy, and if you do fall ill, get better soon 🙂

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