Since the side effects associated with getting a flu shot are relatively minor, there’s no real downside to rolling up your sleeve and getting vaccinated. As it takes approximately two weeks before the vaccine takes effect, it’s recommended that you get your shot at the beginning of the season.
Assuming that someone doesn’t have any allergies to the flu vaccine or specific medical conditions, anyone who is older than six months may receive the flu shot. Furthermore, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) urges certain groups to get vaccinated. For example, anyone over the age of 50 should get immunized. Also, anyone who lives in either a chronic-care facility or a nursing home should get vaccinated. The CDC strongly recommends that people with chronic heart or lung conditions get the flu shot, as well. Other at-risk groups are people who have renal dysfunction, chronic metabolic diseases, immunosuppression issues or hemoglobinopathies. Children and adolescents who are undergoing aspirin therapy are urged to get vaccinated, as well. Pregnant women who are in the second or third trimester should get immunized if these trimesters occur during flu season. All people who are in contact with the various at-risk groups should themselves be vaccinated. For example, household members, healthcare providers, home-care providers, nursing home employees and emergency-response personnel should all get immunized. Communal settings are another high-risk environment for contracting the flu. If you’re in the armed services or live on a college campus, it’s recommended that you get a flu shot.
While the majority of people who get vaccinated won’t experience any adverse reactions, there are a few side effects to be aware of. A low fever, lasting up to 24 hours, is one common side effect. You may also develop a headache and come down with the chills, but these symptoms will usually disappear within 24 hours.