Offered by Janine Lechleitner, CPNP – Premier Pediatrics
“The flu shot gives me the flu.” If I had a penny for every time someone told me that I would be rich! Is this statement true? NO!
There are several types of vaccines including live, inactivated, toxoid, subunit, and conjugate. Flu shots are inactivated vaccines, meaning they are not able to cause infection.
So why do some feel sick after a flu shot? It is because vaccines help us develop immunity by imitating a flu infection. In turn, our bodies produce T-lymphocytes and antibodies to the flu virus. This “imitation” infection sometimes cause minor symptoms such as low-grade fever, headache, or mild body aches. However, when this “imitation” infection resolves, we are left with memory T-lymphocyte and B-lymphocyte cells that will remember how to fight the flu virus in the future.
There are multiple reasons to get a flu vaccine, including:
- Keep us from getting sick with the flu.
- Decreased risk of flu-related hospitalization.
- Preventive/protective measure for those with chronic health conditions.
- Decreased risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant women.
- Can be life-saving in children.
- Reduced severity of illness in those who get vaccinated but still get sick.
- Protective measure for those around you such as babies, elderly, immuno-suppressed, and those with chronic health conditions.
The CDC recommends receiving an annual flu shot before the end of October, however vaccination even into January or later often proves beneficial.
Schedule your flu shot today!
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