The flu season is in full effect and it now qualifies as an epidemic in the United States. With all the chatter about vaccine safety and who should or should not get a certain flu shot, it can be hard to know if you should receive the seasonal flu vaccine. So, what’s the bottom line? The CDC recommends that all people over the age of 6 months receive a flu vaccination – with a few exceptions.
Consult a Doctor Before Getting a Flu Shot
There are specific populations that should either not receive the seasonal flu vaccine or should consult with their physician before receiving the vaccine. Anyone with a mild or moderate illness, with or without a fever, should speak with their doctor before getting a flu shot. Individuals who have an allergy to chicken eggs should generally not receive the flu vaccine as many vaccines are prepared using egg products. However, some eggless vaccines are now available. Therefore, it is important to speak with your physician before getting a flu shot.
Who Should Not Get a Flu Shot?
Additionally there are people who should refrain from receiving the season flu vaccine. Flu vaccinations are currently not approved for children younger than 6 months old. However, mother and caregivers of children younger than 6 months should get a vaccine to protect the children's health. If you have had a severe allergic reaction in the past, or have Guillain-Barre Syndrome, it is generally recommended that you not receive a flu vaccination.
Who Should Get a Flu Shot?
Just as there are groups who should not receive a flu shot, there are also individuals for whom it is especially important to get vaccinated. Anyone younger than 5 years, or older than 65 years should receive the seasonal flu vaccine as they are at increased risk of developing severe complications from contracting the flu. For this same reason, it is highly recommended that those with certain chronic conditions receive the seasonal flu shot.
Some sample chronic conditions are asthma, diabetes, renal, hematological, or autoimmune diseases. Additionally, anyone who is pregnant acts as a caretaker, healthcare worker, or a household contact of an infant or people with chronic conditions should strongly consider getting vaccinated to protect one’s own health as well as the health of those around them.
Consult Your Physician and Get a Flu Shot Today!
While almost everyone who reads this article should get a vaccine, there are some small but specific populations that should consult with their physicians before getting vaccinated. For more information, visit www.cdc.gov/flu.
* This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or vaccination. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.