Easy-to-get flu shot can help avoid agony of illness
The vaccine prevents illness about 80 percent of the time for those under 60 and about half the time for those over 65, Consumer Reports says.Posted — Updated
Anyone can walk into almost any pharmacy these days and get a flu shot, and doctors say it’s worth it to avoid the agony of the flu.
"You're really on your back flat. You have high fever, body aches, muscles aches, severe headaches,” said Dr. Shelia Nolan.
But how effective is the vaccine?
"The vaccine prevents illness about 80 percent of the time for those under 60 and about half the time for those over 65,” said Dr. Orly Avitzur with Consumer Reports. “But even if you do get sick after the vaccine, your symptoms are usually milder."
"The nasal spray is made of a weakened but still active live virus, so it shouldn't be given to people with a poor immune system or their caregivers, pregnant women, or anyone over 50,” Avitzur said.
A high-dose flu vaccine is recommended for those over age 65.
An intradermal vaccine, which injects only into the skin layer, is another option for those between ages 18 to 64.
Anyone who feels the flu coming on should ask a doctor within the first day or two about prescribing the anti-viral drug Tamiflu. Consumer Reports says if taken early, it can ease flu symptoms and reduce complications such as pneumonia.
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