Flu shots are here at Women’s Health Consulting. Though they are available to all of our patients, there are specific people who SHOULD have one. To name a few…
- Pregnant women
- Women hoping to become pregnant or recently delivered.
- Those with small children or elderly adults in the household (or those with frequent exposure like teachers0
Who should get the flu vaccine?
The CDC recommends annual influenza vaccinations for everyone age 6 months or older. Vaccination is especially important for people at high risk of influenza complications, including:
- Pregnant women
- Older adults
- Young children
Children between 6 months and 8 years may need two doses of the flu vaccine, given at least four weeks apart, to be fully protected. A 2017 study showed that the vaccine significantly reduces a child’s risk of dying from the flu. Check with your child’s health care provider.
Chronic medical conditions also can increase your risk of influenza complications. Examples include:
- Cancer or cancer treatment
- Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Kidney or liver disease
Who shouldn’t get a flu shot?
Check with your doctor before receiving a flu vaccine if:
- You’re allergic to eggs. Most types of flu vaccines contain a small amount of egg protein. If you have a mild egg allergy — you only get hives from eating eggs, for example — you can receive the flu shot without any additional precautions. If you have a severe egg allergy, you should be vaccinated in a medical setting and be supervised by a doctor who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic conditions.There are also flu vaccines that don’t contain egg proteins, and are Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved for use in people age 18 and older. Consult your doctor about your options.
- You had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccine. The flu vaccine isn’t recommended for anyone who had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccine. Check with your doctor first, though. Some reactions might not be related to the vaccine
If you have ever wondered how vaccinations work to keep you safe…
Check out this classic post from The Gyneco-bLogic, by Dr. McDonald.
It features one of her best music videos, a Hamilton Parody Tribute to vaccinations, entitled My Shot. Here is an excerpt:
Vaccines are playbooks for your body.
When your body encounters a new virus, it is in the form of a protein, or antigen. If that protein makes it past your mucous membranes into your body, the body has to create antibodies to attack and remove it.
Imagine that you recognize a hostile intruder at your workplace. You have to tell the security office what they look like in order for the officers to find and remove them. Meanwhile the intruder is multiplying Matrix style, but the security office is still faxing pictures and descriptions of the intruder. What if the security office knew what that Matrix agent looked like before he walked into the door. He would be arrested in the lobby and not given time to multiply and overwhelm the staff. That is what a vaccine does. It circulates posters and memos all over your body so that when Agent Smith shows up, Neo is waiting in the lobby. It’s like having the other team’s playbook before the big game.
Live attenuated vaccines behave differently than inactivated ones.
A live attenuated vaccine is weakened so as to not cause disease and be killed easily, but is active enough to develop a full immune response that will teach all of your bodies “troops” to fight well. It’s like full pre-season training, or a whole self-defense course, rather than a single class or YouTube video. On the flip-side, live attenuated vaccines can cause mild viral symptoms like body aches and low grade fevers. Inactivated, or killed viruses, are less likely to cause those symptoms, but also don’t give the best-of-the-best immunity.
Schedule your Flu Shot today at Women’s Health Consulting!
We couldn’t leave out the video: