The flu shot is created by experts who attempt to predict the correct strands of flu that will spread throughout upcoming flu season. Once the shot has been administered, it will take up to two weeks for your body to build up the antibodies in order to fight off the disease. Unfortunately, as the flu virus can change from season to season or even within the same season, the predictions aren’t always a match. In these situations someone who has gotten the flu shot may still become infected with the virus. However, contrary to popular belief, you cannot get the flu from taking a flu shot. Therefore, it is in your best interest to get the flu vaccination annually.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, their advisory committee decided on February 24, 2010 that the influenza vaccination become universal. This means that they recommend that everyone aside from children 6 months or younger and those with severe allergies to the formula, receive the vaccination in order to reduce the amount of outbreaks and expand protection against the masses. The flu shot is typically offered as soon as October and throughout flu season lasting January and sometimes into February.
Although there are various vaccines available, including some with age parameters, the most common is the standard-dose trivalent shot. This vaccine protects against three strands of the flu virus, two with the influenza A virus and one with the influenza B virus. In addition, there is a quadrivalent flu shot protecting against four strands total, consisting of two strands of both the influenza A and B viruses. Receiving the influenza vaccination can prevent and dramatically lessen the severity of the flu. If you are unsure which flu shot to get see your physician for guidance. Flu shots are typically offered at health facilities, pharmacies, schools, work and doctors’ offices so take advantage and have a healthy and happy holiday season!