Today is the last day of National Influenza Vaccination Week. Throughout the week we have covered why flu vaccines are important to pregnant women and children, people with breathing problems, older adults, those with other chronic health conditions, health care providers, first responders and caregivers. Even if you don't fall into one of these categories, you can still benefit from a flu vaccine.
If you have questions or concerns about the flu vaccine, find the answers you need here:
Of course, even though the flu vaccine is recommended for everyone over 6 months old now, there are still a few people who shouldn't get one. This includes:
- Anyone with a fever at the time of vaccination (just wait until you are feeling better and your fever is gone)
- People with a history of serious allergic reaction to a previous flu shot
- Allergy to any of the ingredients in the flu vaccine
- Anyone with a history of Guillain-Barre syndrome within 6 weeks of a previous flu vaccine
- Children under 6 months old
- Anyone with a severe allergy to eggs (Can People With Egg Allergies Get Flu Shots?)
Flu season has come on with a vengeance over the past couple of weeks. Even though most years flu season doesn't peak until February or March, this year we have seen a significant increase in flu activity in several states already. It seems the strain that is most predominant is making people very sick, but it is also well matched to the flu vaccine. So even if you haven't had your vaccine yet, if you get one now, chances are good that you will be protected. Just remember that it takes two weeks to become effective, so if you get the vaccine now, you won't be protected immediately. But it's still your best line of defense against the flu, so get your flu shot and stay healthy this year!