The influenza virus is responsible for causing flu and it is most active in-between the months of November and April. The high number of infections among people during this season has led it to be termed as ‘flu season’. Time and again, people debate about the necessity and frequency of taking the influenza vaccine. Such topics are quite popular, especially during the period just before the start of flu season.
What the Flu Vaccine Targets
Roughly a fortnight after taking the vaccine, it begins creating antibodies within the body. These afford the body some resistance against the virus, keeping the recipient protected from being infected by it. One could still catch the flu during its incubation period of two weeks. As such, it is advisable to take the shot much earlier in the season, since waiting until late would make you more vulnerable to its infection. You can find help with this through any credible center for vaccination Brisbane has available.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) observes that thousands of hospitalizations get prevented annually and millions more individuals protected from developing flu-related symptoms just by taking the flu vaccine.
Types of Flu Vaccines
Two forms of flu vaccines exist, namely the traditional vaccine classified as an inactivated vaccine, which is also designated as the flu shot. Vaccines of inactive nature contain a non-living virus, administered typically via a hypodermic needle. The flu shots may be given to any person in reasonable health and over six months of age.
Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) is the other kind of vaccine available. LAIVs have weakened live viruses. This flu shot is administered using nasal-spray, being only approved for use in healthy individuals ranging between age 5 and 49 years.
Necessity of Taking Regular Flu Shots
The flu virus indeed tends to rotate at around the same season every year. However, infections are not caused by the same strain. A new strain becomes active each year, with new vaccines being developed for combating the emergent variant. Taking the flu shot just a single time would probably be sufficient for your protection for that particular season. It means you would require taking a new shot to minimize the possibility of catching flu for that entire year. Another important reason for taking regular flu shots is that effectiveness of the influenza vaccine diminishes after some time, thus decreasing your level of protection.
Possible Side Effects
A lot of individuals believe they can catch the flu by taking the vaccine itself, which is an untruth. That said certain people could experience a couple of minor symptoms of the flu, the most common of which are:
- Localized swelling, redness and soreness at the vaccination site
- Mild body ache
- Low grade fever
All of the above side effects present in a mild way and only last for a day or two. Healthcare authorities recommend strongly that vaccine recipients get the flu shot on annual basis prior to onset of flu season.
You could make an appointment online today for a 2017 flu shot via the link, http://www.smartclinics.com.au/our-services/flu/.