Flu Vaccine: Is It Good For Your Family?

It is best to get vaccinated before flu season is in full swing. Although you can still get a flu shot even if the season has already started or there are a couple of months left, it is still best to get it sooner to lower your risks of getting sick.

There are times when there is a short supply of the vaccine; and some people need it more than others. In times like these, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will usually recommend that certain high-risk groups be prioritized.

Flu vaccine also comes in nasal spray form. But since it contains weakened live viruses, it is not advisable for people with certain health conditions or weakened immune systems. The nasal spray vaccine is for healthy and non-pregnant people between ages 2-49.

Who should get the flu shot?

The following are high-risk people who should get the flu vaccine:

Children

  • Between ages 6-59
  • Born prematurely
  • At risk of developing lung problems if the get the flu
  • With chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, severe anemia, or immune deficiency (including HIV/AIDS and immunosuppression caused by medications)
  • On long-term aspirin therapy and may be at risk for Reye syndrome if they catch the flu
  • Living with someone in any of the high-risk groups above

Adults

  • With chronic lung or heart disorders
  • With chronic diseases such as diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, severe anemia, or immune deficiency (including HIV/AIDS and immunosuppression caused by drugs)
  • Pregnant women
  • residents of nursing homes and other facilities that care for people with chronic medical conditions
  • health care workers and other employees of hospitals, nursing homes, and chronic care and other outpatient facilities who care for patients
  • police, firefighters, and other public safety workers
  • those planning to travel to the tropics at any time or to the Southern Hemisphere from April through September who did not receive a flu vaccine the previous year
  • everyone 50 years of age or older
  • out-of-home caregivers and household contacts of anyone in any of the high-risk groups

People who should not get a flu shot

  • people who are severely allergic to eggs and egg
  • infants under 6 months old
  • people who had a severe reaction to a flu vaccination (although most people do not experience any side effects from the flu shot)
  • anyone with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), a rare condition that affects the immune system and nerves
  • Anyone with a fever

Where to get flu shots

Flu shots are offered at health care agencies including health care (public, employee, university) clinics, and doctors’ offices. Flu shots are also available at the some pharmacies, supermarkets, and community groups.

Source: MSN