Do You Get The Annual Flu Shot?
It seems that with each passing year, the flu strains get worse. It is recommended that those over 50 years old, children between the ages of 5 and 19 years (the Fluvax is not recommended for administration to children under 5 years of age), pregnant women, those with chronic medical conditions and weakened immune systems get the flu shot.
The influenza vaccination, or flu shot, is an annual vaccination that is given via injection or nasal spray to protect against the ever-developing influenza virus. As a parent of children who were last year dreadfully affected by the potentially fatal Influenza B virus, I am in favour of flu shots. My husband and I have had one every year, with his being provided free of charge by his employer and mine being provided for a small fee by our local GP. But this year I am faced with the questionable and controversial question as to whether to vaccinate my children.
Advantages of getting the flu shot for both adults and children
Getting the flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself against the flu and to help prevent its spread. The influenza vaccine can also reduce the severity of the flu and has shown to decrease the likelihood of the elderly dying from the influenza virus by half. Vaccination of school-age children has a strong protective effect on the adults and elderly with whom the children are in contactand children born to mothers who received a flu vaccination while pregnant are strongly protected also. The flu shot is also cost-effective, as the relatively inexpensive cost of the vaccine is nothing compared to the amount spent on medication and time off work/school that comes with getting the flu virus.
Disadvantages of getting the flu shot for both adults and children.
One of the biggest arguments against flu shots is that a number of people believe the human body is designed to effectively protect itself against influenza viruses, however this does not take into account the continuing development of potentially fatal strains. The flu shot can also be ineffective in some people, can cause allergic reactions in children allergic to chicken products and raises animal rights issues in regards to the actual manufacturing of the vaccine. Side effects can include fever, body aches and mild swelling/redness at the injection site. Some people report flu-like symptoms such as sore throat, headaches and nasal congestion.
As with all medical decisions, yours to vaccinate yourself and/or your children is a personal one. Side effects, effectiveness and accessibility of the vaccine are major factors to take into account in deciding whether or not to utilize this medical development to protect your family this flu season.
Where do you Get the Shot?
Your local GP will generally have the flu needle in stock. Most large Chemist Chains these days will also do them then and there at the counter.
For further information and advice on flu vaccines you can also call one of the hotlines recommended here – https://www.stayathomemum.com.au/my-kids/babies/important-hotlines-websites/