Should I Get a Flu Shot?: The Top Pros and Cons of a Flu Shot

flu shot

This year’s flu is the worst it’s been in 8 years. And we haven’t even reached peak flu season yet.

If you’re like most people, you’re probably wondering how you can keep yourself safe from this year’s virus. In fact, you’re probably thinking about getting a flu shot.

But before you go that route, read on to discover the pros and cons of getting this year’s flu shot.

Pro: It’s the Best Way to Keep From Getting the Flu

According to the CDC, the flu vaccine is the best way to keep from getting the flu. It reduces the likelihood of getting sick by almost 60%. It’s most likely to prevent you from getting sick, and to keep you from having to go to the hospital with the flu.

And if you do still end up getting sick, the flu vaccine is likely to deter the effects of the illness.

Con: You May Still Get Sick

Even if you get the flu shot, you may still get sick. 

It takes around two weeks for the vaccine to take effect, meaning that in those two weeks you are still susceptible to catching the flu.

Also, if the vaccine isn’t a good match – meaning the strain of the flu is different than the strain in the vaccine you get – you may still get sick.

Pro: The Flu Vaccine Can’t Give You the Flu

While the flu vaccine is made from a very weakened form of the influenza virus – the virus is in fact so weakened that it is unable to give you the flu.

So taking the flu for protection against the flu can likely only help you.

Con: It’s Not Good for Everyone

If you’re under 6 months of age, then you can’t get the flu shot. It’s not good for someone that young.

Similarly, if you’re allergic to eggs, then you shouldn’t get the shot either. Most of the influenza vaccines include some trace amount of egg protein, so it can trigger an allergic reaction.

The Difference Between a Flu and a Cold

There is a difference between the flu and a cold. So whether you get the flu shot or not, you should know what to look out for.

The flu presents rapidly, and the onset is quick. Meaning your symptoms will get worse extremely fast. On the other hand, cold symptoms present over a series of days, and they are much less extreme.

The most common symptoms of the flu are high fever and body aches. The most common symptoms of colds are runny noses, sore throat, and a cough.

Both the flu and a cold can cause exhaustion – but often the exhaustion that comes with the flu is much more severe.

Even if you get the flu shot, you can still get sick, so know what to look out for when you’re watching your symptoms.

The Flu Shot: To Get It or Not to Get It?

At the end of the day, you run a bigger risk by not getting the flu shot, than you do by getting it. True, you may still get sick, but your odds of illness decrease significantly (as mentioned above) when you get the vaccine.

For help deciding if you should get a flu shot and other health-related questions please contact us at Coastal Urgent Care of Gonzales.