Winter takes the spot as one of the most dangerous seasons of the year. Due to the drastic change in temperature, all lifeforms have a rough time adjusting. Even though you’re all geared up to battle the cold, it doesn’t eliminate the possibility of you getting sick.
Influenza is a common sickness every winter since it’s caused by a virus that thrives in low temperatures. Many mistake it for the common cold, considering some of its symptoms are similar, particularly coughing and having a stuffy nose. However, what makes it different is that these symptoms could worsen over time, especially for those with complicated health conditions.
Therefore, as soon as the months start growing colder, taking a seasonal flu shot is advertised everywhere. But considering it’s chock-full of ingredients only professionals would know, many are understandably hesitant when they hear about it. To shed more light on it, here are the pros and cons when getting seasonal flu vaccines:
Downsides Of Seasonal Flu Vaccines
Although vaccines are created to withstand vaccine-preventable sicknesses, assuming they have no room for errors is unwise. Hence, before you take your seasonal flu shot, here are some things you must remember:
- May Experience Side Effects
Like all vaccines and medication, seasonal flu vaccines could likely cause side effects on their users, regardless of whether they’re children or adults. For those who aren’t aware, flu shots contain killed or weakened influenza viruses. However, most common folk mistakenly translate this as the vaccination transmitting the flu virus into their systems.
It’s impossible to teach the immune system something when it doesn’t have prior knowledge of it. In this situation, injecting the body with these weakened influenza viruses serve as a guide to inform your immune system what it must eliminate from the system. While some remain unaffected, others might experience mild side effects while their immunity works to flush out the virus, such as:
- Mild fever
- Muscle aches
While there are specific reasons you might consider learning how to decline a flu vaccine properly, including mild side effects is not one of them.
- Doesn’t Guarantee Complete Immunity
Vaccinations are meant to prevent sickness, not completely safeguard your body. When making flu shots, researchers must decide which strains they should use months before the season. Therefore, a situation might arise wherein the strains they’ve chosen don’t match the strains circulating during the season.
Moreover, vaccinations don’t promise immediate effectiveness. After getting the shot, there’s an adjustment period that could take days before your immune system develops. Flu shots typically take around two weeks for your immunity to develop. Thus, it’s still possible to get infected during that period.
- May Trigger Allergies
All human bodies are different. Whether it’s certain deficiencies or allergies, these differences are what makes some capable of tolerating certain conditions, whereas others could suffer from them. Considering how many ingredients are contained within a vaccine, it’s no surprise why some of them might trigger an allergic reaction, especially if you’re allergic to eggs, since egg protein is often used in flu vaccines.
Benefits Of Seasonal Flu Vaccines
Even though they don’t guarantee total protection, vaccines are designed to reinforce one’s health by building immunity against a specific illness or virus. Since the influenza virus happens yearly, taking a seasonal shot before the cold months arrive would protect you against it. Here are the ways how it works:
- Prevents Flu
Even though you lead a healthy lifestyle, you’re still likely to get hit by the flu. But for those vaccinated with their seasonal flu shot, the infection won’t be severe enough to render them seriously ill. The vaccines help your immune system generate new cells called antibodies to fight the weakened influenza virus, thus protecting you from infection.
- Protects People At Risk
Considering that the flu is a respiratory disease, many are susceptible to it, namely those with chronic conditions, senior citizens, pregnant people, and children. While most are already taking medications, they still have a chance to be infected by those carrying the virus, which further compromises their well-being. Therefore, getting the vaccine for the seasonal flu is for you and your community.
- Saves You From A Hospital Trip
Getting sick is expensive. Not only are medical treatments costly, but your livelihood is also put to a stop, considering you must rest to recover. With your income compromised, you might have difficulty paying your bills unless you have insurance. Considering how severe the flu can be at its peak, you might incur hefty hospital bills.
Cold seasons are a nightmare for most people. Not only because it leaves everyone tired and sluggish but also because of how many viruses the low temperatures cultivate. One of those viruses is influenza or the flu. Taking the seasonal flu shot is the most effective way for people to fight it. But despite its numerous benefits, the flu shot also has its downsides. If you’re thinking about taking it, you must be aware of both sides.