It is time for the flu shot!
Get it on your calendar…everyone 6 months of age and older needs a flu shot!
It is the time of year when I start my daily reminders to parents ( I sometimes can be annoying, I guess)… it is time…time for that flu shot. Put your excuses away, everyone 6 months and older should receive a flu shot, no ifs, ands, or buts! It seems that there are always a lot of questions about the flu shot, and excuses why someone should not receive it. Here are some of the most common questions I have heard…
- When should I receive it?
The time is now…it takes about 2 to 3 weeks for your body to build up antibodies for influenza. Flu season can begin as early as October, but usually peaks in January and February and can last as long as May.
- Why should everyone get the flu vaccine?
The flu is a miserable illness. Many people don’t realize how sick they can be if they get true influenza. Healthy adults who get the flu are often unable to work, have a difficult time caring for families, and most importantly can spread the flu to others. Those adults over 65 are at most risk for flu related deaths. Depending on the year and the flu strain, sometimes the flu will affect children more seriously. The H1N1 outbreak demonstrated that a few years ago. Pregnant women are also more at risk for complications from the flu. Flu shots are safe during pregnancy, and it protects your unborn child and your baby after birth! If you can keep yourself and your family from getting sick, then it is an easy decision!
- Why do we need a flu shot every year?
Flu viruses change…and flu shots change too. Studies are conducted to try to predict what flu viruses will be most prevalent each year. Our immune response after the flu shot or after actually having the flu decreases over time. The flu shot serves as a boost to our immune system to help prevent the flu each year and it hopefully protect us from the “flu strain of the year”.
- Can I get the flu from the flu shot?
No! The flu shot is either a weakened or dead virus…you CANNOT get the flu from the shot or the nasal spray. Most side effects are very mild.
- Last year I got the shot, and our whole house still came down with vomiting and diarrhea!
The flu shot will not protect against other viruses other than influenza. The influenza virus is a respiratory flu, not the stomach flu!
6. What is best…the mist or the shot?
After studies on effectiveness, it is recommended that children who have not indications NOT to have the mist, should receive the nasal flu vaccine as it has been shown to have a better immune response. Sounds good to me….no child likes a shot! (or adult!) The flu mist is safe for anyone who is between age 2 and 49, doesn’t have a history of wheezing, and is not allergic to eggs.
I will be on my soap box about flu shots for awhile…more facts to come…but it is time…get that flu shot for everyone that you love, it is important! More good information on the CDC website.
Take a breath, enjoy the joyful moments of each day, and remember you don’t have to be perfect to be the perfect parent.