Millions of Americans deal with the aches, pains and fatigue caused by the flu every year. Those most susceptible to the flu can even be at risk of dying from the virus. Many wonder why anyone would second guess getting a flu shot for protection.
Reasons to Get a Flu Shot
First Reason: The flu shot is highly effective.
The flu shot has been proven to be effective in over 50 percent of people who receive the vaccine, and even demographics that are particularly at risk when it comes to the flu see a significant reduction in flu occurrences when vaccinations are used.
Not only is the flu shot effective at preventing the flu in most people who receive the shot, but complications of the flu are also reduced. For example, the number of people who are hospitalized due to pneumonia that developed in relation to the flu is reduced in vaccinated populations.
The flu shot is also effective at reducing the instance of flu-related death by 80 percent.
Second Reason: You are part of a demographic susceptible to the flu virus.
Pregnant women, people over the age of 65 and people with other health issues that lead to a compromised immune system are not only more susceptible to contracting the flu, but they are also at an increased risk of suffering serious complications.
Third Reason: It costs little or nothing to be vaccinated.
Some people argue that they are not able to receive a flu shot because it is expensive and not covered by their insurance, but the fact is that pharmacies and hospitals routinely run clinics that offer flu shots at a reduced price. Some clinics even offer free flu shots to the general public.
Reasons Not to Get a Flu Shot
First Reason: Flu vaccines may contain antibiotics.
Some flu vaccines contain antibiotics, and receiving a vaccination with antibiotics that are not needed can contribute to resistance to the medication.
Second Reason: You are allergic to ingredients found in the flu vaccine.
While experiencing a severe allergic reaction to a flu shot is extremely rare, the side effects that can be experienced by people with such an allergy can be life-threatening. Review the ingredients of the flu shot with a medical professional before deciding whether it is safe for you.
Third Reason: The flu vaccine is ineffective against many strains of the flu virus.
There are multiple strains of the flu virus being passed around every winter, and medical professionals are not able to target all of these strains when developing a vaccine. People who are vaccinated are still at risk of contracting certain strains.
When deciding whether to get a flu shot this flu season, it’s important to weigh the positives and negatives to make a personal choice based on individual health.