Should I get the Flu Vaccine?

Can the Flu Shot give you the flu?

No, Flu Vaccines given with a needle either have inactivated flu viruses or contain no flu viruses at all.  The most common side effects are soreness, redness or tenderness where the shot was give.  Low-grade fever, headache and muscle aches may also occur. 

Do I really need to get a flu shot every year?

Yes.  The CDC recommends a yearly flu vaccine for just about everyone 6 months or older.  A person’s immune protection from the flu vaccination declines over time.  You also need one every year because different strains of flu come around every year.

When should I get the Flu Shot?

The CDC recommends getting the a flu vaccination be the end of October.  But it is never too later to get vaccinated.  The flu activity peaks between December and February, although can last as late as May.  It takes about 2 weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop.

Can I get the Flu Shot if I’m pregnant?

Yes.  It’s not only safe, but recommended in any trimester. Evidence suggests that getting the flu shot during pregnancy protects your baby for several months after birth because he/she may receive some antibodies from you during your pregnancy.

Pregnant women SHOULD NOT receive the nasal spray flu vaccine (FluMist), which is made from a live, weakened virus. 

Some moms-to-be are concerned about the preservative thimerosal contained in the flu vaccine.  The CDC or ACOG has found no convincing evidence of harm resulting from exposure to this preservative however, you can ask for a thimerosal-free vaccine. 

Teverbaugh Croland & Mueller OB/GYN & Associates

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