I hate taking needles. You would not believe that as a nurse, I gave out my share of needles, As a result of this fear, for many years I refused to take an annual flu shot. I had received one many years ago that made me sick, so I did not bother to take any more.
The winter of 2014 changed my mind. The Sunday after New Years’ Day, I was down with the flu. It was rough. I felt like I was going to die. The pain in my body, the cough that hurt my chest, no energy, no interest in food. It was terrible. Last winter I screwed up my courage and took the shot. I had mild flu-like symptoms, and a sore arm, for about two days. Then in March of this year I came down with the flu, but it was not as severe as last year.
Since taking the shot four days ago might arm was sore for about two days, but I did not have any other flu symptoms. I have also been boosting my body with supplements, so I am hoping that I will escape it this flu season.
There is a lot of controversy surrounding the benefits of taking the flu shot and other vaccinations. Some people believe that taking shots can do more harm than good. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has recommended a flu shot for persons 65 years of age and over. This age group is at the greatest risk of contracting a severe form of the flu with complications that may be life-threatening.
Two vaccines designed for the sixty-five plus age group are:
- High dose –has been used since 2009. It is stronger and more effective than the regular dose.
- Fluad – is a newer vaccine for the 2016-17 flu season. It is stronger than the high dose vaccine.
- Both of these vaccines may initially cause mild side
- Do not take the nasal spray form of the vaccine if you are sixty-five years of age and over.
Tips to Protect Yourself:
- Get your Flu shot
- Wash your hands regularly
- Cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing
- Keep away from people who are sick
- Get medical attention if you have flu symptoms.
- Discuss the need for other vaccinations with your health care provider.