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Should I get the flu vaccine? That is the question. The decision can be a hard one to make. It’s understandable to wonder “are flu shots good or bad for you?” as there are different schools of thought. It’s best to gather as much info as possible if you’re deliberating should I get a flu jab? We can help you find the right answer to the question, flu jab: yes or no?
What is flu?
To help answer your question, “should I get the flu vaccine?” you’ll want to find out what flu actually is. Here are some of the facts. After the incubation period, flu symptoms tend to come on suddenly, and can include a sore throat, cough, muscle aches, headaches, fever and chills. Symptoms can be severe, and complications can arise. You’ll probably spend a couple of days down in bed.
When you’re laid up in bed with the flu, make life easier for yourself by keeping everything you need within arm’s reach. That includes a glass of water, medicine, and a box of soft tissues, like Cushelle Cube Tissues.
Flu vaccine: yes or no?
Before you can decide your answer to the question, “should I get a flu shot?” you’ll want to know a bit more about it. The flu vaccine works by stimulating your body’s immune system to make antibodies to attack the flu virus. Then, if you’re exposed to the flu virus afterwards, your immune system should recognise it. That means a quick response – producing antibodies to fight it.
Should I get a flu shot?
There are certain groups of ‘at risk’ people that the NHS offers the flu vaccine, free of charge. These include people who are:
- 65 years old or over.
- Living in a long-stay care facility/care home.
- Receive a carer's allowance.
- Have certain medical conditions.
- Children aged two to 10 years old by 31 August of that year.
- Children aged two to 17 with long-term health conditions.
Taking this information into account can help you to make a decision about flu vaccine: yes or no.
Benefits of a flu jab
Is the flu shot good or bad for you? Some of the benefits of a flu jab include:
- The World Health Organization (WHO) is involved. Each February, the WHO assesses the strains of flu virus most likely to be circulating the following winter.
- It’s updated each year. The WHO assessment recommends which flu strains the vaccines should contain, to keep it up-to-date.
- It protects against three or four types of flu virus. The flu vaccine typically protects against two A types (most serious) and one or two B types of flu virus.
- It cannot give you flu. The injected flu vaccine for adults contains inactivated flu viruses. Although the nasal spray for children contains live flu viruses, they’re weakened enough that the NHS says it will not give the child flu.
- It’s free for certain groups. See info above.
Flu jab negatives
Is the flu shot good or bad for you? Some flu jab negatives include:
- No immediate protection. It can take 10 to 14 days after the flu vaccine for immunity to build up.
- It needs to be repeated. You need to have a flu vaccination every year. That’s because the viruses most likely to circulate each year can change.
- You might get side effects. Your arm may feel sore where you were injected. Some people get aching muscles and a slight temperature for a couple of days.
- Your child might get side effects. Common side effects from the nasal spray flu vaccine include a runny nose, headache, tiredness and loss of appetite.
- It can be grown in eggs. Most flu vaccines are grown in hens’ eggs or mammalian cells. This can be a reason why people with egg allergies don’t have the flu jab.
We’ve started the ball rolling by exploring the question, are flu shots good or bad for you? The decision to have the flu jab: yes or no is entirely personal. Once you’ve done your own research, you’ll be in better position to answer the question, “should I get a flu jab?”