Should You Get the Flu Shot? 7 Pros and Cons to Help You Decide

Teenage boy getting vaccination in his arm

One of the most important things in life is maintaining good health. That’s why it’s so important to stay updated on your healthcare options.

In fact, this year’s flu season is already being called the worst in a decade – with 37 children dying from the illness, and the season isn’t even over yet.

The Center for Disease Control recommends getting the flu vaccine, but this season is so intense that many places are out of stock. Even common antivirals like Tamiflu can be hard to find in some areas.

There’s no doubt that this year’s outbreak is bad, and the numbers keep climbing, with weeks still to go.

While health officials urge the public to get their flu shots, the average of those who do is falling. Check out these flu vaccine pros and cons before you make your decision.

1. Pro: It Won’t Give You the Flu

Unlike many other vaccines, flu shots do not contain live flu viruses. This means there is no chance you will contract the flu from your vaccine.

Instead, the vaccine is only composed of flu proteins. In other words, you are only being exposed to part of the flu organism, not the complete organism itself.

2. Con: Egg Allergy

Egg allergies are not that common, but if you have one, you made need to make some extra deliberations before deciding to get your flu shot.

The CDC states that those with mild egg allergies should be fine, but the more severe cases will need to receive the vaccine in a hospital setting.

For example, those who only experience hives after egg exposure should be fine to receive flu shots.

3. Pro: Many Are Free

Make sure to check your insurance before you head out for your shots – you might be pleasantly surprised.

Many healthcare plans offer free flu shots. If you are under your company’s insurance, your chances of getting a free treatment are even better.

4. Con: Potential Side Effects

This is most likely the biggest con out of all flu vaccine pros and cons. The term “side effects” can strike fear in even the most scientifically sound citizen.

Other than typical redness and swelling at the injection site, there is an extremely small chance of developing febrile seizure, narcolepsy, asthma, or Guillain-Barr? syndrome.

5. Pro: No Sick Days

As previously stated, many employers offer free flu shots. They may even have a provider come into your office to offer them.

Obviously, this is in their best interest, as well as yours, as it means fewer employees will be taking sick days. It’s also good for you, so you don’t have to worry about running out of sick time!

6. Con: Protection Takes Time

Although you may feel 100% protected immediately after receiving your flu shots, the medicine takes a bit of time to work.

Make sure to protect yourself in other ways for two weeks following your shots to keep you in the clear. That means washing your hands and avoiding those who show signs of illness.

7. Pro: It’s Humanitarian

Actually, getting a vaccine isn’t just about you, it’s also about everyone around you.

Those who neglect to get vaccinated present a health risk to the general public. One of the most thoughtful things you can do is contribute to the world’s public health and safety in a positive way by helping prevent the spread of disease.

Flu Vaccine Pros and Cons

Although the Internet is a great resource, it’s no replacement for a licensed physician. If you’re interested in getting flu shots, it’s best to come in and speak with a medical professional.

At Thibodaux Regional Urgent Care, we help the people of Thibodaux and surrounding areas with their medical needs. You can even check your insurance coverage online, to save you time. Visit us today!

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