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Flu Shots 101

Myths about flu shots, how to easy out the pain from flu shots, benefits of flu shots, nasal spray, where to get flu shots and when to get flu shots
Myths about flu shots, how to easy out the pain from flu shots, benefits of flu shots, nasal spray, where to get flu shots and when to get flu shots
Flu shots benefits, how to get it, where to get it, and when to get it

This blog is intended to help readers understand the benefits of getting a flu shot, how to overcome fears of the needle or pain after the injection, options on getting a flu shot, where to get it, and when to get flu shots. Interested in learning more about what the flu is, and other frequently asked questions? Then follow this link.

The flu shot is one of the best defenses against the flu. This blog talks about other ways to protect yourself or quicker recover from the flu. Read more. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends a yearly flu shot for most people 6 months and older.  You do need to get a new shot every year as the influence virus strains change over time.

Benefits of getting a flu shot yearly

  • Reduce risk of flu illness (getting the flu)
  • Reduce risk of serious flu outcomes that can result in hospitalization and even death
  • Lessens the risk of severe flu and the severity of illness
  • Vaccinating yourself can protect others who are more vulnerable to flu or younger than 6 months
  • People at high risk of serious flu complications could tremendously benefit from a flu vaccine (i.e. people younger than 5 years old, 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with certain long-term medical conditions such as heart and lung diseases, and diabetes

Overcoming the barriers of getting a flu shot

Many people do not believe in flu shots, are afraid of the needle, loathe the pain that comes from the shot, or simply do not make time to go get a flu shot. Here are some tips that might be helpful when deciding to get the flu shot

I will get the flu and get sick from the flu shot believes unraveled

    • I will get the flu from the vaccine – some people think they will get the flu from the vaccine. Evidence shows the contrary, in fact, you cannot get flu from the vaccine. The vaccine contains an inactivated virus which cannot infect you.
    • I experience unpleasant side effects – Some people indeed experience side effects from the vaccine (i.e. runny nose, headache, fever, sore throat), but they are short-lived and very mild in compared to if you get a flu

Tips for handling the needle and pain from the shot

    • Nasal spray is an alternative to the needle; however, research shows it is less effective. Also note, that people with some medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine, as well as children under 2, adults over 50, etc. Consult your health care provider if in your case you can do the nasal spray. Although the shot is the best vaccine, getting a nasal spray is better than not getting anything at all.
    • Wear comfortable cloths and maybe tops that are easier for the nurses to get to your arm
    • Talk to the nurse. Sometimes they may have advice on how to relax and just simply talking about your concerns reduces stress and anxiety
    • Take deep breaths – inhale (counting to 10), exhale (counting to 10) before, during, and after the flu shot. It will help you relax and stay calm
    • Listen to the instructions the nurse gives you and follow them.  For example, the nurse will advise to relax your arm for the shot to hurt less, or to move your arm around after the shot to prevent from stiffness, and when to take the bandage off.
    • Take your mind away from the pinch of the needle. Instead, distract yourself by thinking about what you will be making for dinner, where do you want your next vacation to be, what are you going to wear for your next outing, etc.

Making time to get a flu shot

In this post, we list places where you can get the flu shot. Sometimes it takes as little as 5 minutes to get a flu shot. You can be at work, and just drop in to a wellness fair where flu shots are provided. Or you can be doing groceries where you can just drop in the office where flu shots are administered. When using the  “I don’t have time” excuse for not getting the flu shot you are doing a great disservice to yourself. It really doesn’t take much of your time if you really want to get a flu shot and it is such a great way to increase your chances of well-being during the flu season.

When to get a flu shot

CDC recommends getting the flu shot by the end of October. Although the flu season runs from October through May, it picks in December through February. It is uncommon but possible to get flu outside of flu season. Take into consideration when scheduling your appointment, that it takes about two weeks after the flu shot for the antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against influenza virus. Children getting a flu shot for a first time and are younger than 9 years, need 2 doses, about 28 days apart.

Where to get a flu shot

Doctor’s offices, grocery stores, pharmacies, work health fairs, and hospitals to name a few provide flu shots.

Learn more about the flu in our blog: everything you need to know about the flu. Or see how you can better protect and recover from the flu.


* Information and statements made by be Healthy be Happy are for education purposes only and are not intended to replace the advice of your doctor. be Healthy be Happy does not provide medical advice, prescribe, or diagnose illness. The views and nutritional advice expressed by be Healthy be Happy are not to replace conventional medical service. Any choices and decisions you are making are at your own risk. If you have a medical condition or health concern, contact your physician.

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