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Getting Familiar With The Flu Vaccine

The flu vaccine is available as a shot or as nasal spray. The vaccination process is completely safe for children above the age of six months and adults. Here is a little information that will help you understand the importance of this annual vaccination.

What You Should Know about the Vaccine

Here are some important things to keep in mind when you are deciding whether to take the flu shot:

• The vaccination reduces the risk of contracting flu to a great extent. A severe case of this illness could keep you in hospital for a long time. This one dose that needs to be taken annually can help to keep you fit right through the season and reduce the visits to the doctor.
• The shot should be taken as soon as it is available in your area because it takes about two weeks for your body to build immunity.
• If you are suffering from any kind of chronic illness or someone you live with or care about has a weak immunity system or has a high risk of getting the flu, you should ensure that they also get the shot as soon as possible.
• There are very few side effects to the vaccine. Some people may have a mild headache or fever but this goes within a few hours or a couple of days.

How the Vaccine Works

Trivalent and Quadrivalent are the two kinds that are most commonly available. The trivalent vaccine protects you against two of the influenza A type viruses, i.e. H1N1 and H3N2 and it also protects you against one influenza B type virus. The standard dose is approved for children over 6 months. Most flu shots are given to patients by means of a needle. The Quadrivalent type, on the other hand, protects you from one ‘A’ type virus and two of the ‘B’ type viruses.

There is usually only one dose needed every year to protect you through the season. Some children may be required to take two doses for complete protection. Every year, there are new forms of disease that spread through the air. For this purpose, it is suggested that you take the shot every year so that you have optimal protection against the latest forms of influenza. You should also try to get your entire family vaccinated before the season starts because the antibodies take a little time to start working and building your immunity so you are still at a risk of getting flu for a week or two after taking the shot. These vaccines are very safe and there are only a few side effects that have been seen. Even these effects usually disappear after a few hours or a day. However, those who suffer from egg allergies or have had a bad reaction to any of the previous shots should first check with their doctor so that they can get treated accordingly or extra precautions can be taken for them.