Who Should Get the Flu Vaccine?

flu vaccine Houston, TX

The flu vaccine a staple part of preventative care for many people. Also known as flu shots, the vaccine protects against infection of the influenza virus. A new vaccine is developed twice each year. The effectiveness of the injection can vary from year to year, as the virus is known to change rapidly. However, most vaccines provide excellent protection against the flu, especially for those who are more susceptible to the illness.

Who is most prone to catching the flu?

Most people over the age of 6 months are recommended to get the flu vaccine. Vaccination is particularly useful for those who are at high risk of developing serious complications from the virus. Elderly patients and others with compromised immune systems, such as those with autoimmune deficiency, can benefit from a flu shot.

People who should get the flu vaccine

The flu vaccine is designed in a few different versions that are made for people of varying age groups. Children up to 18 years of age will only need a small dose. Patients over the age of 65 and as young as 6 months are administered an inactivated vaccine. Older patients need a higher dose of this specialized vaccine since their immune systems are suppressed.

People with chronic health issues should get the flu vaccine since their immune systems are not able to fight off the disease properly. Women who are pregnant are also recommended to get a flu shot.

People who should not get the flu shot

Infants younger than 6 months should not get the flu vaccine by any means. Their immune systems are not fully formed and cannot handle the small dose of the virus that exists in the vaccine.

You can have life-threatening allergies to some of the ingredients within the vaccine. The flu shot consists of gelatin, eggs and antibiotics. All these components may cause sensitivity, and your doctor should be aware of this before administering the shot.

Alternatives to the injected flu vaccine

The flu vaccine does not only come in an injectable format. A nasal spray containing the flu vaccine has been developed for healthy people between the ages of 2 years and 49 years of age. Older patients and pregnant women are not eligible for the nasal spray.

This nasal spray is also not suitable for children up to age 17 who are taking aspirin or salicylate medications. Immunocompromised individuals should not get the nasal spray vaccine. This format should not be given to any child under 4 years of age with a history of asthma or wheezing. If you have taken influenza antiviral drugs in the previous 48 hours, the nasal spray is not a good option for you.

Have you had your flu vaccine?

The Centers for Disease Control recommends that you get your flu vaccine by the end of October each year. If you need your flu shot, please visit our urgent care clinic for quick service without an appointment.

Call us today at (713) 597-6989 for more information from Woodforest Pediatric & Family Clinic.

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