List of Pros and Cons of Flu Shots

For those who have never received a flu shot before, there are many different considerations to be made. When it comes to flu shots, numerous pros and cons can be argued for both sides. Some patients swear by flu shots and make an appointment to get one every time the weather changes, while others do not believe in their effectiveness and could care less.

With flu season upon us, it’s important to investigate these pros and cons, so that you can make an informed decision, for your health’s sake. Separating verifiable facts from the mountains of misinformation that friends and family offer us is crucial. Whether you are worried about the pain or their medical validity, this list of pros and cons will help you make the correct choice for you.

List of Pros of Flu Shots

1. The Shot Does Not Give You The Flu
Contrary to popular belief, receiving a flu shot does not give you the influenza virus. While some patients report feeling under the weather in the days after they receive the injection, the reality is that the vaccine used in your procedure is not concocted from the flu virus. A doctor will inject you with a much weaker version of the virus, a version that your body can easily beat.

2. The Shots Protect You From More Than One Form Of The Virus
You may have heard the old wives’ tale about how receiving a flu shot is a pointless endeavor, due to the fact that it only protects from one strain of a virus that has millions of them. However, a flu shot not only keeps you safe from the H1N1 strain, this year’s edition is also equipped with protection from a variety of potential Northern hemisphere contaminants.

3. No Need To Get Pricked
It’s no secret that many of us are scared of needles. Whether you are the person who is afraid or you know someone who is, this is usually reason enough to talk yourself out of getting the flu shot that you know you need. Getting pricked by a needle is not a fun prospect for anyone, which is why so many people avoid it at all costs.

However, relief from the tyranny of needles has arrived, in the form of a nasal spray. Medical technology has improved in leaps and bounds and now you longer need to subject yourself to a needle if you are afraid. Just use the nasal spray, which has approved for use on people between the ages of 2 and 49. Parents everywhere are breathing huge sighs of relief.

4. They Are Often Given Free Of Charge
Think about how many times you walked right past a sign promising free flu shots. Happens more often than you’d think, doesn’t it? No one likes getting a shot and we often convince ourselves that we “never get sick” and that we are invincible. Even if the shot is free, why would you need it if you know that there is no chance of getting the flu?

Workplaces all over the country are taking a hard line on flu shots, as they are tired of losing countless man hours and doling out paychecks to workers who have spent weeks at home recuperating. If you decide to receive a flu shot, there is a good chance you will be able to find a place that offers them free of charge.

5. You Can Use Your Sick Days More Wisely
Who wants to waste all of their sick days on a flu virus that they could have easily avoided? Instead of falling behind on all of your work, getting your flu shot allows you to remain on the job and get your work done a timely fashion. Rather than using up all of your sick days in one fell swoop, a flu shots gives you the chance to parcel them out over the course of the year.

List of Cons of Flu Shots

1. It Can Aggravate Allergies
If a person is allergic to eggs or any egg particles, a flu shot may not be the best idea. The vaccination for the flu is cultivated by using the inside of a chicken egg. Be sure to ask your doctor if a flu shot is right for you if you know that you already have an allergy to eggs. Otherwise, this could be a case where the cure is actually worse than the disease.

2. A Flu Shot Is Not A Guarantee
This may be hard to swallow for those who are proponents of flu shots, but the mere reception of the shot does not guarantee an impenetrable immune system. It would be nearly impossible for a doctor or scientist to engineer a flu shot that would eliminate the possibility of catching any and all strains of the influenza virus.

While this is information that no one wants to hear, be forewarned when you receive your flu shot. The shot only decreases your chances of coming down with the sickness, it does not eradicate them completely.

3. Protection From The Flu Is Not Immediate
Should you decide to receive a flu shot, it is important to note that the protection it grants from influenza virus strain does not take place immediately. Some recipients end up feeling ill for 24 to 48 hours after they the shot is administered, depending on the strength of their immune system.

Meanwhile, patients who have stronger immune systems and do not report any immediate feelings of sickness may also be surprised to realize that the shots do not kick in right away. Typically, a flu shot needs roughly two weeks before it begins to keep you safe. For this reason, it is best to receive directly at the onset of flu system. Waiting could cause your immune system to be compromised before the injection has a chance to work its magic.

4. Flu Shots Contain Mercury
The presence of mercury does not bother everyone. Every few years, when there is a scare related to mercury, it exposes the divide between those who could not care less and those who believe that the presence of mercury in any item means that they are taking their life into their own hands.

The vast majority of seasonal flu shots contain at least a small level of mercury. The mercury is added for preservative purposes and has very little chance of affecting the shot’s recipient in an adverse manner, provided that the shot has been administered in a safe scenario, by a trained professional. But for those who do not wish to expose themselves to mercury for any reason, this is valuable information to be aware of.

5. Possible Side Effects
No matter how safe or minor a medical procedure is, there is always some risk of side effects. The good news is that any side effects that take place as the result of a flu shot are not long lasting and tend to subside in a day or two. But depending a person’s tolerance and immune system strength, they may have a higher instance of side effects.

A person may experience something that feels a lesser version of the actual flu virus. In certain instances, those with a lower pain threshold could end up experiencing the telltale signs of illness, including aching joints and a high fever. The area of the body where the injection was administered could develop bruising and swelling in the days following, especially in patients with sensitive skin.

When deciding whether to get a flu shot, a person has to consider a wide range of factors, ranging from matters of personal preference to issues that could potentially endanger their safety. We all know ourselves and what we can and cannot handle. It is still considered wise to consult with a medical professional if you have any thoughts or concerns prior to receiving a flu shot.

A good rule of thumb: it is always better to be safe than sorry. While a flu shot can keep you safe from the pitfalls of the winter season, it can also cause complications if a person does not perform their due diligence.