Flu Shots: What you need to know

It’s that time of year again; the sneezes, the sniffles, the chills, the aches and pains, that’s right, flu season. If you are debating on whether or not to head to your doctor’s office or local pharmacy here are the key things you need to know when deciding if a flu shot is right for you.

Why you should get a flu shot

Every year 1,000’s of people are sickened by the flu. The flu is a serious illness that can require hospitalization and even lead to death, especially in the elderly or those with a weakened immune system. Receiving a flu shot can greatly reduce your risk of getting sick and help prevent you from spreading the illness to others.

Who should get a flu shot

A flu shot is recommended for anyone over the age of 6 months but it is especially important for people with certain risk factors. People who suffer from asthma, diabetes or lung disease, pregnant women and people over the age of 65 are all more likely to suffer from serious complications like pneumonia if the contract the flu virus. People who live with or care for those at high risk for complications are also advised to receive flu shots.

How is the vaccine administered?

There are three types of flu shots commonly available in the US. A regular flu shot is usually administered to anyone over the age of 6 months. Those over the age of 65 sometimes receive a high-dose flu shot. An intradermal flu shot is sometimes given to those between the ages of 18 and 64. For those who have a fear of needles, a nasal-spray flu vaccine is also available. The nasal spray is commonly used for healthy people between the ages of 2 and 49 who are not pregnant.

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