The Big Shrug
Many people shrug off the idea of getting an influenza flu vaccination, especially if they don’t know anyone with the flu and haven’t heard of serious flu cases in a while.
But did you know that millions of people come down with the flu every year? Did you know that every year hundreds of thousands are hospitalized by the flu and tens of thousands of people die from influenza flu complications?
A Public Health Perspective
Furthermore, even if you contract the flu and get through it relatively unscathed, from a public health point of view, the more people who are vaccinated, the less likely it will be that the flu will eventually reach a more vulnerable person, On the other hand, if relatively few people in a community are vaccinated, the more likely it will be that a vulnerable person will be hit hard with the virus.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention monitors health risks and advises the public on precautions and treatments. Known as the CDC, this agency recommends that everyone over the age of six months with rare exceptions be vaccinated every year for the influenza flu virus.
Persons not recommended to receive the influenza vaccination include:
- Children under six months of age
- Anyone who has ever had Guillain-Barre Syndrome
- Anyone with allergies to any of the ingredients of the vaccine, which can include egg, gelatin, and antibiotics. (Check with your doctor to review this possibility)
- People not feeling well at the time of the vaccination (Also consult with your doctor)
Everyone else should get the injection form of the vaccination that is right for their age.
There is a long list of exceptions for people opting for the nasal spray form of the vaccination
Nasal Spray Exceptions
The CDC does not recommend the nasal spray for:
- Anyone younger than 2 years or older than 50 years
- Pregnant women
- People with a history of severe allergic reactions to any of the ingredients of the vaccine
- People who have had previous allergic reactions to the vaccine
- Anyone aged 2 through 17 years who are taking aspirin or salicylate-containing medications
- Persons with weak immune systems
- Young children (ages 2 through 4 years) who have had repertory problems in the past year
- Anyone who has received antiviral drugs to combat influenza in the previous 48 months.
Everyone else: Get a shot. In San Diego, call Pacific Medical Care at 619-333-8114 to schedule an appointment soon.