Should I Get Flu Vaccines? What are the Possible Side-Effects?

Everyone 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine, with few exceptions

2 min read

COVID-19 cases are slowly declining in India, but are we prepared for the onset of flu season?

According to FIT, there has been a rise in viral fever and flu-like symptoms in the past few months.

Influenza is a respiratory infection that can pose serious health problems, particularly in children, older people and those with medical condition. Getting a flu-shot will be effective in preventing any complications, as per Mayo Clinic.

Dr Mala Kaneria, consultant, department of infectious diseases at Mumbai's Jaslok Hospital told FIT, "During the COVID pandemic, due to universal masking and hand hygiene, the incidence of flu had declined significantly. But now that the cases have declined and people are dropping their guard, the flu virus is back in a new avatar and is causing prolonged symptoms."

Here, The Quint answers all your questions regarding the flu vaccines.


Are vaccines for flu safe?

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), flu vaccines have high safety record with extensive research supporting it. It is the best way to reduce the chance of getting infected.

How often should one take a flu-shot?

Flu shots are to be take annually, that means one shot in a year.

Are there any side effects of flu vaccines?

Yes, flu vaccines may result in side effects. However, they will be mild and is not likely to not last long. Here are few of the most common symptoms as per CDC:

  • Headache

  • Fever

  • Soreness/redness near the place of injection

  • Nausea

  • Muscle aches

Are there any symptoms post-vaccine that should be concerning?

Like any other vaccine, there maybe a few unusual symptoms that includes high fever, behavior changes and signs of allergic reactions. Some signs of severe allergic reactions are:

  • Breathlessness

  • Hoarseness

  • Swelling around the eyes

  • Paleness

  • Weakness

  • Fast heart beats

Is there anyone who should not receive a flu vaccine?

According to Healthline, those who cannot receive flu vaccination are:

  • Children younger than 6 months

  • Individuals with life-threatening allergies to flu vaccine or any of its ingredients

  • Those with Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS)

It is best to consult your doctor before getting a vaccine.

What are the benefits of flu vaccination?

According to Healthline Media, flu vaccination is necessary for the following reasons:

  • Prevention of flu

  • Lowering the risk of serious illness or hospitalization

  • Building herd immunity, which means collective protection against the virus

Can pregnant women take the vaccine?

Yes, pregnant women can get a flu-shot.

(With inputs from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, FIT and Healthline Media)

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