We agree with the Centers for Disease Control and recommend flu (influenza) vaccine to everybody to be given yearly during the fall months of October, November and December. Flu is common, nasty, and results in thousands of deaths and hospitalizations each year. Flu vaccine not only reduces illness, absenteeism from work or school, and doctor visits, it also decreases death and hospitalization.
Medicare and Non Medicare insurers pay for flu vaccine and administration. Many employers also either will pay for their employees to be vaccinated, or directly arrange for vaccination at the work site.
There are rare persons who should not receive the usual influenza vaccine. These are persons with an allergy to one of the ingredients in the vaccine, typically eggs. For these persons, aged 18 to 49, it is recommended that they get an alternative flu vaccine, called “recombinant flu vaccine” which is not made with eggs.
YOU CANNOT GET THE FLU FROM INJECTED FLU VACCINE.
THAT IS A MYTH.
"Can the flu vaccine give me the flu? (from the CDC web site)www.cdc.gov/flu
No, a flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines that are administered with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious, or b) with no flu vaccine viruses at all (which is the case for recombinant influenza vaccine). The nasal spray flu vaccine does contain live viruses. However, the viruses are attenuated (weakened), and therefore cannot cause flu illness. The weakened viruses are cold-adapted, which means they are designed to only cause infection at the cooler temperatures found within the nose. The viruses cannot infect the lungs or other areas where warmer temperatures exist"
The usual side effects of the vaccine may include a sore arm, mild aching and low grade fever. There are many other illnesses circulating during the flu season that are NOT the flu and are usually less severe, such as the common cold and assorted other viral infections.
IT IS MORE IMPORTANT TO GET VACCINATED THAN TO PICK AND CHOOSE AMONG VACCINES.
Available vaccines include a high dose vaccine for those over 65, a nasal spray for those under 49 years of age, a quadrivalent vaccine that has 4 virus strains included instead of 3, and an intra dermal vaccine that is given under the skin instead of into the muscle.
Refer to the Centers for Disease Control web site
www.cdc.gov/flu for more complete information
and to the American Lung Association web site