The seasonal flu shot offers protection against the various influenza viruses that spread throughout the flu season. The vaccine is designed to protect against influenza, and it is recommended that everyone, aside from a few exceptions, over the age of 6 months get a flu vaccine each year.
What Is the Effectiveness of the Flu Shot?
Many people wonder about the effectiveness of the flu vaccine and if it is worth taking. Some people end up getting the flu anyway, even after they got the seasonal flu shot. The reason for this is because there is no single influenza virus. Instead, there are several strains circulating each season, making it challenging to create a vaccine that covers all strains.
Even if the vaccine isn’t always effective, you should still get a flu shot. The flu is a severe illness, and when the viruses contained in the vaccines are a good match with the current strains, the shot can help reduce your risk of getting the flu by 40 to 60%. Even if you do end up with the flu, the vaccine can help prevent you from having a severe case.
What Are the Common Flu Shot Side Effects?
According to the CDC, the most common side effects of the flu vaccine include the following:
● Soreness, redness, or swelling at the injection site
● Low-grade headache
● Muscle aches
Like many other injections, the flu shot can also cause fainting at times, especially for people with a fear of injections. But this is usually not serious.
Can Serious Side Effects Occur?
It is rare to experience severe side effects after getting a flu shot. When severe side effects do occur, they typically occur a few minutes or hours after receiving the shot. The side effects can include the following:
● High fever
● Changes in behavior
● Pale skin
● Hoarse voice
● Difficulty breathing
● Rapid heart rate
If you notice any of the symptoms of serious side effects, you should seek immediate medical attention. You should also report your reaction to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). Your doctor may also file this report for you or you can do it through the VAERS website. Doing so will help prevent others from enduring the same severe reactions.
What About Guillain-Barre Syndrome?
Another severe side effect of the flu vaccine is the onset of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare type of immune disorder. After getting a flu vaccination, the estimated risk of GBS is fewer than one or two cases per one million people. Studies have also shown that GBS occurs more often after a person has had the flu than after receiving the flu vaccine.
The Influenza Vaccine and Egg Allergies
Individuals who have egg allergies are more prone to be allergic to the flu vaccine than others. If you have an egg allergy and are interested in getting a flu shot, you should consult with your doctor and determine what precautions to take. You should only avoid getting the flu vaccine if you had a severe reaction to one in the past.
There are vaccine options available for people with egg allergies. There are two egg-free options available for the current 2020-21 flu season: Flucelvax Quadrivalent and Flublok Quadrivalent. These are the two safest options for people with egg allergies.
Do You Have Questions About the Flu Vaccine?
If you have questions or concerns about the latest flu vaccine or would like to know where you can get one, contact the medical experts here at Bass Urgent Care today by (925) 350-4044 for more information. We look forward to assisting you and helping you maintain a healthy lifestyle.