Disclaimer: I am only sharing what I know as a nurse. I am still learning and growing. Talk to your provider about any issue or concerns regarding your health!
Why did I take my flu shot this morning?
As a nurse, I’ve seen suffering, and I know that it only takes one second for any condition to shift to the worse. It is very important to be proactive and take certain preventive measures to remain healthy.
Why did I take the flu vaccine?
The flu vaccine can keep us from getting sick with the flu which is an infection that can cause fever, cough, body aches, and other symptoms. There are different forms of the flu and all of them are caused by viruses. The medical term for the flu is “influenza.”
The flu vaccine comes in different forms, including:
A shot that goes into the muscle (usually in the upper part of the arm)
A shot that goes under the skin
A nasal spray
All people age 6 months or older should get the flu vaccine every year and the best time of year to get the flu vaccine is before the winter season begins. The vaccine is especially important for certain people at high risk.
Getting vaccinated can help keep us from getting sick. Plus, being vaccinated can help protect those around us from getting sick. If we have been vaccinated but get the flu, the vaccine can also keep us from getting severely ill or even dying.
Some people think the flu vaccine doesn’t work because they have known people who got the vaccine and got the flu anyway. But that does not mean the vaccine does not work. Many people who get sick after getting the flu vaccine do not actually have the flu; they have a cold caused by a virus unrelated to the flu virus, so the flu vaccine can’t help with that.
Often the vaccine causes no side effects. When it does cause side effects, it can cause:
Redness, mild swelling, or soreness where you got the shot (if you got a shot)
A mild fever
A mild rash
A headache or body aches
Vaccines also sometimes cause more serious side effects, such as severe allergic reactions which are rare.
The flu vaccine does not cause the flu. People sometimes feel sick after getting the vaccine, but this is often because they were already starting to get sick with the flu or another virus before they had the vaccine.
It is very important that pregnant women get the flu vaccine. The flu symptoms can get worse quickly and be dangerous during pregnancy. The flu can even cause trouble breathing or lead to the death of the woman or her baby. That is why it is so important to get the flu vaccine if you are or will be pregnant during flu season.
Some healthy tips to prevent the flu:
Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use alcohol hand rubs
Stay away from people you know are sick
If we are exposed to the flu, our doctor can prescribe some antiviral medicines to help protect us from the flu, but those medicines are not appropriate for everyone. Besides, those antiviral medicines work only if we start them very soon after being exposed or as soon as we show symptoms.
If you have the flu, be mindful and protect others
Stay home if you get the flu. Do not go to work or school until your fever has been gone for at least 24 hours, without taking fever-reducing medicine, such as Tylenol. If you work in a healthcare setting taking care of patients, you might need to stay home longer if you are still coughing.
Cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow when you cough or sneeze.
Let’s Stay healthy Together