The flu season strikes America each fall starting in October. The cold winter months of the year are when the virus is most rampant and spread the most. Protecting yourself against the flu is a great idea. The flu can hit anyone from small babies to the elderly. These are two of the most important groups that should get a flu shot each season. They are at the highest risk of developing complications from the flu virus that can lead to hospitalization or even death.

Outside of small babies and the elderly people that are otherwise healthy a flu shot is nice it certainly isn’t considered necessary. Though, if you have a secondary disease that could be complicated by having the flu, by all means get one to protect yourself against being hospitalized or even death from the virus.

Symptoms that you have the flu

Symptoms of influenza include muscle aches and pains, fever, cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue and the chills. Many times an extremely high fever will ensue. Pneumonia can also develop as a result of influenza. That extremely high fever can also add the symptoms of diarrhea and seizures.

Influenza vaccines

There are two types of influenza or flu vaccines. A live virus or a dead virus is provided for a vaccination. The live virus is found in a nasal spray. These are a weakened live virus vaccination and  purchased over the counter in many cases from your local pharmacy. These are generally given in a high dosage when received from your physician’s office. An inactive or dead virus is given to average patient and administered in the form of an injection.

Adults and children over the age of 9 years old characteristically receive one dose of vaccination. Kids under the age of 9 will receive the vaccination in two doses. On half dose injection is given and then the other half dose given within a week or two. Your physician can give you any details surrounding flu injections for small children and babies. There are some possible side effects and dangers you should be aware of.

The virus changes each year. Therefore, the vaccination you receive this year is for last year’s flu. Additionally, there is some flu seasons were two different strains of the virus are seen. A shot will only protect you against one type of the virus.

Who should receive the vaccine?

Everyone is susceptible to catching the flu. If you have a secondary medical condition that could compromise your health if you catch the virus, get a flu shot. Babies and the elderly you should receive a an immunization. The elderly and babies are usually hospitalized and die as a result of the virus more than any other group.

Since everyone is at risk to catch the virus, everyone should seriously consider a flu shot. Healthcare workers and those  people working around small children are recommended to get vaccinated.

Possible dangerous side effects

There are some dangers with getting vaccinated. The flu shot or nasal spray with a live virus will make a patient show a mild case of the flu. Generally patients will have one or two symptoms of the  after they get a vaccination. If you have kidney disease or lung disease as a secondary health condition, this could be extremely dangerous.

Allergic reactions can possibly occur. Anyone that has had a previous allergic reaction to a vaccination should seriously discuss whether to receive a flu shot from their doctor. If you are allergic to eggs or have Guillian Barre Syndrome tell your doctor before you receive a flu shot and chances are you wont be receiving a flu shot for this flu season.

In conclusion

You can receive the flu shot up to the end of the cold winter months or the end of the flu season. Although this is late in the year for the flu vaccination, it will still protect you from the influenza bug if you haven’t already caught it.

This information explains in detail information about getting a flu shot or flu vaccination. The possible side effects and who is recommended to receive a flu vaccination. If you have any questions about getting a flu shot, discuss your questions  with your physician.