Jason Bruce, M.D.
Each year from October through February, we go through a lovely time of year called flu season. Influenza (the flu) is a contagious respiratory virus that can cause symptoms for three to 14 days and in extreme cases, lead to hospitalization or death.
Fortunately, the flu vaccine (flu shot) has been shown to significantly reduce the chance of contracting the flu. There are many types of vaccines to accommodate varying factors, such as age and immune system strength, but most patients will only hear about the shot.
The flu vaccination is recommended to help keep you and your family healthy from influenza. Complications from the vaccine are rare and include allergic reactions such as swelling in the face, difficulty breathing or hives. Seek medical attention immediately if these issues occur.
Individuals at a higher risk of developing complications include:
Healthy individuals, ages 6 months and older. Patients with allergies to vaccine ingredients, particularly eggs, and a history of Guillain-Barré Syndrome should talk to a doctor before receiving a flu shot.
Tips to Prevent Influenza (Flu) in Children
Mild side effects generally last one to two days and may include:
If patients experience side effects such as swelling in the face, difficulty breathing or hives, this may be the sign of an allergic reaction and they should seek medical attention immediately.