There are millions of seasonal flu cases all over the world and while this infection is not dangerous it can have an adverse impact on the daily life and activities of individuals. Flu shot or flu vaccine can be taken to protect oneself against the seasonal influenza viruses. This shot is basically comprised of killed virus that is injected in the arm with a needle. Following the injection antibodies are developed in the body for protection against the virus. This vaccine can be safely given to children more than 6 months of age and can also be given to individuals suffering from chronic medical conditions as well as healthy individuals. These shots are available in three varieties and the first one can be given to children who are aged 6 months or older. Other shots include intradermal shots approved for people belonging to the age group of 18 to 64 years and high dose shots available for people aged 65 years or older.
The flu vaccine may also include a vaccine in a nasal spray form and this contains a live but weakened flu virus . This vaccine does not cause flu and people between the age group of 2 to 49 years can take this vaccine. This vaccine cannot however be given during pregnancy. The vaccine is designed to provide protection against the three most common viruses that may be observed in the upcoming season. Statistics reflect that in United States alone around 200,000 hospitalizations related to flu occur. It can be helpful if more people took the influenza vaccine. It is advisable to get the flu shot between October and November since the flu season tends to start from October and last till May. The influenza vaccine can be beneficial for all individuals. However certain groups should particularly get vaccinated as they have increased risk of suffering from flu related complications.
Pregnant women, people over the age of 50 years and children below 5 years should particularly get the flu vaccine. Likewise individuals suffering from some medical conditions of chronic kind or those living in nursing homes as well as certain care facilities should also get the vaccine. Those who live or care for individuals at a greater risk of developing complications from flu should also get the vaccine. This includes health care workers. In some cases flu vaccination should be avoided and this is particularly applicable for individuals having allergies or reactions to the vaccination. The vaccine should not be given to children younger than 6 months. Some individuals may experience certain side effects after getting the vaccine. These include soreness, swelling and redness at the site of the shot, body aches and fever. However these side effects tend to be temporary and resolve in 1 to 2 days. In some cases the flu vaccine may result in some severe allergic reactions. In case the vaccine is taken in the nasal spray form it can result in some side effects like wheezing, runny nose, headache, muscle aches, vomiting, fever etc.
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