Who SHOULD get the flu shot?
- People older than 65years of age
- Children younger than 5years
- Pregnant women
- Anyone with Asthma, Heart Disease, Immuno-compromised (AIDS, transplant recipient), Cancer, Diabetes
These individuals are at higher risk of developing complications from the flu, like pneumonia, ear infections and even death. Pregnant women who get influenza are at risk of premature labour and delivery. Receiving a flu shot decreases chances of getting the flu, and if one gets the flu, it is not as severe.
When should I get the flu shot?
- Flu season begins early October. It is best to receive the flu shot during this time. Remember, it takes 2 weeks for the vaccine to give protection against the flu virus.
Who should NOT get the flu shot?
- Infants younger than 6 months
- History of serious allergy to previous dose or ingredient in vaccine (except eggs)
- Anyone who developed Guillan-Barre syndrome within 6 weeks of flu vaccine
TRUE OR FALSE: The flu shot makes you sick
FALSE: Flu shot contains a dead virus, which cannot cause the flu. The dead virus, instead, helps body prepare immune system against the viral infection.
TRUE OR FALSE: People with egg allergies cannot receive flu shot
FALSE: Egg allergy is not a contraindication for flu shot. Flu vaccines contain very small amounts of egg protein and the trivalent formulation of the vaccine is safe for these individuals. Consult your pharmacist for more information.
TRUE OR FALSE: I do not need a flu shot every year
FALSE: The flu virus changes its genetic makeup very often and therefore, a new vaccine is prepared every year to protect against it. Thereby, we need to receive a flu shot every year.
TRUE OR FALSE: Flu shot contains Mercury or Thimerosol, which is linked to Autism
FALSE: Thimerosol is a mercury-based preservative, added to prevent contamination of vaccine by bacteria or fungus. Thimerosol contains ethyl-mercury (unlike the harmful methyl-mercury), which is easily eliminated by the body and has NOT been shown to cause any neurological problems or Autism.