The Benefits of Vaccination Against the Flu

Every year, hundreds of Brits will become vaccinated against this common illness. As most treatments involve a simple flu shot that takes only seconds to administer, this is frequently the desired option for those looking to avoid the flu. Statistically, this type of immunization can cut incidences by up to seventy percent.

For those older than fifty or who already suffer from immunological or respiratory problems, this treatment can help avoid potentially fatal conditions such as breathing difficulties or pneumonia. Thus, this type of vaccine is prudent for anyone who may be at higher risk of developing complications. In fact, this preventative measure can cut mortality rates by up to eighty percent in the elderly.

Another significant advantage is that the injection itself normally causes very few side effects. Some of the most common are drowsiness, muscle aches, headache and loss of appetite. Even if these are experienced, they will normally subside within the first twenty-four hours of having received the shot.

Some of the benefits of these treatments include:
  • Up to a seventy percent chance that one will not become infected.
  • A preventative measure for the elderly or for those suffering from pre-existing conditions.
  • Few negative physical effects on the body.

The Risks

However, this shot still carries a fair share of associated risks that must be carefully considered when deciding on whether to opt for treatment. The biggest issue is that although one may be vaccinated, there is still up to a twenty percent chance that he or she will become infected with the flu. This is due to the fact that the flu virus can rapidly mutate.

Another concern revolves around the fact that the flu shot is not safe for everyone. Infants six month or younger cannot be administered the shot. Anyone who is allergic to eggs will likewise be unable to receive a vaccination. Even those who may have simply had a bad reaction in the past for unknown reasons will be unable to receive these treatments.

There is also a slight chance that these vaccines will increase the chances of a patient suffering from a condition known as Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Although quite rare, this illness can result in muscle weakness, paralysis and even death. The medical community is still unaware of the exact mechanism that triggers this disease but it has been correlated with flu shots.

To review, some possible negative factors to consider are:
  • One may still become infected with influenza.
  • Safety issues in regards to the very young, those allergic to eggs or anyone who has had a severe reaction in the past.
  • The rare instance of developing Guillain-Barre Syndrome.