No one likes to get sick. And getting the flu can be particularly miserable. The flu, also called influenza, is a respiratory infection that can wreak havoc on the body.
One way to try to avoid the flu is by getting an annual flu vaccine.
The Mayo Clinic website explained that the reason you should get a new vaccine every year is because flu viruses quickly adapt to the vaccines and can be immune to them. New flu vaccines are created every year to keep up with these evolving viruses.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention website recommends that Americans, ages six months and older, get an annual flu vaccine, but there are instances where people can’t or shouldn’t get the flu shot.
People who are at a higher risk from complications from the flu should definitely get an annual flu vaccine. KidsHealth.org wrote that these include pregnant women, kids younger than age five, people age 65 and older, and people who suffer from chronic medical conditions.
The Mayo Clinic said that chronic medical conditions include asthma, cancer or cancer treatment, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, HIV/AIDS, kidney or liver disease, and obesity.
There are different flu shots for different types of people. A five-year-old may not get the same flu shot as a pregnant woman or someone with liver disease.
Who shouldn't get a flu shot?
The CDC said that children who are younger than six months of age are too young for a flu vaccine. Others who shouldn’t get a flu shot are people with “severe, life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any ingredient in the vaccine.” The vaccine can contain ingredients like gelatin, antibiotics or eggs.
The Mayo Clinic suggested that even if you have an egg allergy or sensitivity, you may still be able to get a flu shot. Talk to your doctor about what special precautions you may need to take. In some instances, it could be as simple as waiting 30 minutes at the doctor’s office after getting the vaccine to see if you have an adverse reaction.
There are also Food and Drug Administration approved flu vaccines that aren’t made with eggs.