Protect Your Family With A Booster Flu Shot

Every year millions of children and adults receive the booster flu shot for immunity against the influenza viruses. Flu vaccines can protect children from hospitalization and reduce the number of school sick days. Parents can keep children healthy and on track by providing the booster flu shot.

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Protecting the most vulnerable from the flu

Influenza viruses can infect the respiratory system, including the throat, nose, and lungs. Influenza, also known as the flu, can go away over time, but young children, pregnant women, people with weak immune systems, and seniors can suffer from serious illness if not protected with a vaccine.

What is the flu shot?

Influenza vaccines protect against four types of influenza virus and are usually injected with a needle in the arm, although nasal spray flu vaccines may also be used. Vaccines use weakened or deactivated versions of the virus that do not cause the flu. The vaccine introduces the body to the antigen protein on the virus’s surface and stimulates the production of antibodies to fight the flu.

Know the signs to look for

The flu shares many symptoms with the common cold such as sore throat and sneezing. The flu affects people immediately instead of gradually and is usually more intense than a cold. Typical flu symptoms include sore throat, fever, muscle aches, sweats and chills, dry cough, shortness of breath, headache, runny nose, and fatigue.

Timing the vaccine before flu season

Doctors recommend giving children 6 months or older an annual flu vaccine in the fall or two doses for some children. Getting the vaccine before the end of October protects children before the start of flu season. Children who miss getting vaccinated before flu season can still obtain the flu shot as late as January or later.

A safe track record

Flu vaccines have been safely used by hundreds of millions of people for over 50 years, with many comprehensive studies supporting efficacy and safety. Although the shot may have mild side effects such as soreness, swelling, redness, headache, fatigue, and muscle aches, the vaccine protects children and adults from serious illness, hospitalization, and death, not to mention preventing the spread to friends and family.

Who should not get the flu shot?

All people over 6 months of age need the flu shot, with a few exceptions. Nasal spray vaccines are not recommended for children with asthma, weak immune systems, or younger than 2 years of age. People with lethal allergies to ingredients in the flu shot, such as gelatin and antibiotics, should not take the flu shot. People who have had a severe allergic reaction to an influenza vaccine or have an egg allergy should consult a doctor to determine a suitable vaccine treatment.

Keep your friends and family safe

Most people do not experience serious effects from the flu and can get over the infection in about a week. However, some people are at higher risk for complications. Flu vaccines are an effective way to prevent the spread of influenza and getting a serious illness in healthy individuals. Flu vaccine doses are more critical than ever and widely available for free.

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