It’s Flu Season: Should You Get Vaccinated?

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It’s Flu Season: Should You Get Vaccinated?

The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for everyone over six months old.

The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for everyone over six months old.

Pixabay

The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for everyone over six months old.

Pixabay

Pixabay

The CDC recommends the flu vaccine for everyone over six months old.

Jenna Febbo, Health and Beauty Editor

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The leaves are changing, the temperature is dropping, and the flu is back in season. The flu, short for influenza, is in season from October to May, and affects more than three million people in the United States during this time.

Some choose to get a flu shot to prevent contracting the virus. Some do not believe it is effective enough and ignore it. So, should you get it?

The flu, a respiratory infection caused by the influenza virus, can be very mild and treated within a week or it could be very severe and result in hospitalization. In extreme cases, the flu can be fatal.

Those with the flu usually have a fever, or feel feverish/have the chills, a cough, sore throat, muscle or body aches, stuffy or a runny nose, fatigue, and headaches. Vomiting and diarrhea are also possible in some cases, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC and most doctors recommend the flu vaccine to everyone 6 months or older. Getting vaccinated is the best way to ward off the flu. However, many Americans do not care to get the vaccine. Most of these people just do not believe it is effective enough. Some believe that getting a flu shot will cause them to get the flu because they are being injected with the virus. This is a myth.

“No, a flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness,” the CDC said in a statement on their website.“ Flu vaccines that are administered with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been ‘inactivated’ and are therefore not infectious, or b) with no flu vaccine viruses at all.”

While the flu vaccination itself can not give you the flu, it cannot completely protect you from it either. The CDC conducts studies each flu season on the effectiveness of the vaccine. The results vary each year but recent studies have shown that it is 50 to 60 percent effective. Bianca Gizzo, a senior nursing student, recommends the influenza vaccination even though it is not totally effective.

“The flu vaccine is not 100% effective, but promoting the importance of getting a flu vaccine to the public will prevent illness for one’s self and also from spreading to others by a greater chance than if people were to not receive the flu vaccine at all,” Gizzo said.

Every student in Pace’s nursing program is required to receive the influenza vaccine.

It takes about two weeks for the vaccine to become effective because the antibodies don’t begin to develop until then. So, if you choose to get vaccinated, the CDC says the best time is from now to the end of October.

The Pace Health Center offers flu shots.

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