Good senior health today involves getting an annual flu shot for the prevention of the influenza virus. The flu is actually a very dangerous virus that could potentially cause permanent damage to your body or even death. Every senior should understand a few things about getting flu shots.
Why Seniors Need Flu Shots
Flu shots are part of maintaining good senior health. Seniors often have to deal with weakened immune systems because of medications, age or medical conditions. This makes seniors a high risk group when comes to getting the flu. The body is less able to fight off even minor flu viruses. The flu shot benefits the body by forcing the production of antibodies long before encountering a live virus. This makes it very easy for your body to fight off the illness.
Side Effects That You Might Experience
Getting a flu shot does sometimes cause a few minor side effects. These include some redness at the injection point, soreness and minor swelling. Your joints might ache for a couple of days. A small number of people might get a low-grade fever because the body is furiously producing influenza antibodies. These side effects usually pass quickly.
Flu shots do have some risks like all vaccines. It is important to remember that these risks are incredibly rare and barely ever appear. You might experience an allergic reaction to the shot if you have sensitivity to an ingredient in the vaccine. There is also a chance of developing Guillain-Barre syndrome after a shot. The chance of this occurring is one in a million. The risk of something serious occurring due to the vaccine is far lower than the risk of critical complications due to influenza.
How Flu Shots Benefit Everyone
It is important to remember that getting a flu shot benefits everyone. It is an effective form of prevention within the community. If you are not vaccinated, then you could carry the flu and spread it to other people. You might even unintentionally spread it to other high-risk groups such as children and pregnant women. Getting an annual flu shot helps to keep the number of illnesses low each year.
When to Get the Shot
The flu shot is intended as a form of prevention. This means seniors should get a flu shot early in the season. Earlier is better because you do not want to get sick just before receiving the vaccine. Although early is better, it is never too late in the season to get a flu shot. That one shot could prevent an illness that might have taken a heavy toll on your health.