Most people nowadays have become skeptical of the need for flu vaccines. Most of us aren’t really affected by flu season, and when we do, we usually pay for it with lost work days at worst. People who easily get the vaccine may tell you it’s superfluous. Unfortunately, this growing complacency towards the vaccine may put you and your community at an unjustifiable higher risk.
You need to be cognizant of the fact that influenza is a killer disease that strikes thousands every year, even among developed countries. The few who don’t recover immediately from the flu are at grave risk. The 1918 flu outbreak, previously referred to as the Spanish flu, became a worldwide epidemic with a death toll ranging between 20 to 100 million. Outbreaks in the 50s and 60s also killed millions, though in lesser numbers.
More recent outbreaks like the bird flu pandemic and the current H1N1 outbreak were more capably restrained, thanks to development of the vaccine that began in the 30s. The vaccine has proven effective in limiting the spread of seasonal flu, but not 100 %. This is because different strains of the flu come out every season, and current vaccines aren’t able to cover every strain. People who get the vaccine can still get the flu, but will have a stronger resistance to it. Drug companies are currently in a race to develop the first flu vaccine to cover all strains.
The people at strongest risk for influenza, and therefore the first who should receive flu vaccines, are older people, children, pregnant women, people with recurring medical conditions and people who work in medical care, especially in care of the abovementioned. People who should not get the vaccine include those allergic to the vaccine or to chicken eggs (since the vaccine is made in chicken eggs), susceptible to Guillain-Barre syndrome, or too weakened by prior medical conditions.
There are two forms of vaccine; the flu shot, which is made of dead flu cells, and the nasal spray, which actually has a live, but weakened version of the virus. Neither will give you the flu, although nasal spray may give you flu-like symptoms. To be on the safe side, nasal spray is usually provided to people at lower risk.
Today, we have been able to successfully limit the spread of both seasonal and new strains of influenza. Continued use of flu vaccines is needed to maintain control of this disease, as well as to find a way to eventually eradicate it.
Most people nowadays have become apprehensive of the need for flu vaccines. You need to remain cognizant of the fact that influenza is a killer disease. You can get the vaccine either through a flu shot, which offers dead flu cells, or nasal spray, which actually has a live, but weakened version of the virus. You will not get the flu from either vaccine. Today, we have been able to successfully stop the transmission of both seasonal and new strains of influenza.