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Dr. Jay Trussler

MEDICAL – Flu shot or not to flu shot, that is the injection

By Dr. Jay Trussler

Shakespeare’s character, Prince Hamlet, may have never
uttered these words in the play that bears his name;
however, a similar question is often uttered from early
fall until late winter in my clinic and thousands of other
clinics and hospitals across this country every year, so
I’m going to give you some short responses to these two
common flu questions:

Should I get the flu shot? Absofreakin’lutely, unless you are an infant younger than 6
months or you have severe, life-threatening allergies to the flu vaccine or any ingredient
in the vaccine. Believe it or not, people with egg allergies CAN get the flu shot, but
certainly talk to your doctor first.

Can the Flu shot cause the Flu? Nope. Negative. If you get the flu shot, then you are
either getting an inactivated (killed) virus or a recombinant vaccine which contains no
flu virus particles at all. The nasal spray flu vaccine does have weakened virus present
in it, but it was not approved for use during this 2016-2017 for various reasons. While it
is true that you may get body aches, a sore arm at the injection site, or run a low grade
fever, this does not mean that you got the flu. Two studies compared getting the flu shot
to a “salt-water” shot. Guess what? The same percentage of people “got the Flu” from
the “salt-water” shot as the actual flu shot.

The only point I hope to make is for as many people as possible to get the flu shot every
year. True, the shot is not perfect and some seasons the vaccine is a better “match” than
in other years. Side effects are minimal, but children decrease their risk of ending up in
the ICU by 74 percent, people with diabetes and COPD reduce their hospitalization rates
by 79 percent and 52 percent respectively, and pregnant women who get the flu vaccine
are not only protected against the flu, but their newborn baby can be protected against
the flu for up to four months after birth. Still don’t want the flu shot? If you suck it up
and get one, then that kind act also shows those around you who are more vulnerable to
the a serious flu infection (elderly parents, young children and babies) and others with
certain health problems like diabetes and cancer, that you care about them and want to
protect them as well. Please refer to CDC.gov for more information.
Play Hard, Be Healthy,
Dr. J