Should I get the Flu Shot?

Short answer: Yes. 

36,000 people die and more than 200,000 are hospitalized each year because of the flu.

Unless you have an allergy to the shot, the CDC suggests that you should get the flu shot. Everyone 6 months and older is recommended to have their annual flu vaccination.  

The flu virus, or rhinovirus has a high mutation rate so it evolves rapidly. This is why we have to have vaccinations annually, as the virus that you were protected against last year is not the same as this years virus. Mutations typically arsie in two ways antigenetic drift, and antigenetic shift. Antigenetic Drift mutations are, “small genetic changes can accumulate over time and result in viruses that are antigenically different (further away on the phylogenetic tree). When this happens, the body’s immune system may not recognize those viruses” (CDC). Antigetectic Shift mutations arise from different strains of viruses sharing parts of their genetic code, and their phenotypes (genetically coded physical characteristics). 

The live attenuated influenza vaccine or LAIV (nasal spray flu vaccine) is not a recommended method to administration and should not be used during 2016-2017, because the nasal spray is considerably less effective in protecting against viral strains. 

 

Link to CDC article

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