Influenza is a respiratory infection that can cause serious complications,particularly to young children,older adults and people with certain medical conditions.Flu shots are the most effective way to prevent influenza and its complications.
Why do I need to get vaccinated every year?
New flu vaccines are released every year to keep up with rapidly adapting flu viruses. Because flu viruses evolve so quickly, last year’s vaccine may not protect you from this year’s viruses.
After vaccination, your immune system produces antibodies that will protect you from the vaccine viruses. In general, though, antibody levels start to decline over time — another reason to get a flu shot every year.
Who should get the flu vaccine?
The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccinations for everyone age 6 months or older. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of influenza complications, including:
- Pregnant women
- Older adults
- Young children
Children between 6 months and 8 years may need two doses of the flu vaccine, given at least four weeks apart, to be fully protected. Check with your child’s health care provider.
Chronic medical conditions also can increase your risk of influenza complications. Examples include:
- Cancer or cancer treatment
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Kidney or liver disease
Who shouldn’t get a flu shot?
Check with your doctor before receiving a flu vaccine if:
- You’re allergic to eggs. Most types of flu vaccines contain a small amount of egg protein. If you have an egg allergy, you can receive the flu shot without any additional precautions. If you have a severe egg allergy, you should be vaccinated in a medical setting and be supervised by a doctor who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.
- You had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccine. The flu vaccine isn’t recommended for anyone who had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccine. Check with your doctor first.
Flu Vaccines are now available at Whitehouse Pharmacy.