Should I get the flu shot (vaccine)?
I get commonly asked this question and my response is that this is your personal decision but I do want to educate you about the flu vaccine before you make your decision.
When you get the vaccine, it takes 2 weeks for your body to build up immunity. This suppresses your immune system and can make you susceptible to getting other infections such as the common cold. Some will have flu-like symptoms after getting the vaccine. You’re not getting the flu from the vaccine, it’s just your immune system reacting to it and symptoms usually resolve within 24-48 hours.
The vaccine doesn’t prevent you from getting the flu.
It only contains 3 (trivalent) or 4 (quadrivalent) of the strains that the scientists have predicted to be most active each year. Usually it’s two strains of Influenza A and one or two of Influenza B. The strains are always changing which is why you have to keep getting it every year. However, there are other strains that you are still susceptible to getting that are not in the vaccine. This is why some people still get the flu even if they had the vaccine.
Lastly, there are added ingredients that could affect your immune system and overall health such as aluminum salts, formaldehyde, thimerosol, and chicken egg protein. The FDA states that these are safe in small amounts but do not realize that sometimes the small amounts create a greater impact.
If you choose to get the vaccine, prep your immune system ahead of time with Vitamin C, Zinc, and Selenium. Drink plenty of water, get quality and quantity sleep, and make sure you are reducing stress. All these can help support the immune system. Please share this with all of your friends and family. Stay well this season!
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