What is a Flu Shot & Flu Shot Side Effects

If you've ever wondered, "Should I get a flu shot? What is in a flu shot?” you're not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), less than half of Americans aged 6 months old and older got an Influenza (flu) shot during the 2018-2019 flu season. During that same period, there were 58,000 flu hospitalizations and 3,500 flu-related deaths.

When you understand what is in a flu shot, you’ll understand the answer to what is a flu shot. By educating yourself, you can take precautions to stay healthy and help prevent those around you from catching it, too. Along with good hygiene practices, flu shots are a crucial way to keep you feeling your best when flu season hits. Continue reading as we explore how to not get the flu and how important flu shots are for you and your loved ones.

What is the Flu Shot?

The flu shot is a vaccine that helps protect against the three or four flu virus strains predicted to be most common in the upcoming flu season. It is typically administered through a needle injected into the arm.

Who Should Get the Flu Shot?

With rare exceptions, everyone 6 months of age and older should get the flu shot with a licensed vaccine provider that is appropriate for their age and health status. There are inactivated Influenza vaccines (IIV) that are approved for people as young as 6 months of age. The recombinant Influenza vaccine (RIV) is approved for people ages 18 and older, and high-dose, inactivated vaccines are suitable for those 65 years and older. For those wondering how to prevent the flu, a shot is a highly effective way to do it.

Who Should Not Get the Flu Shot?

While flu shots are typically beneficial for everyone, there are some exceptions. The CDC recommends the following groups of people not get the flu shot:

  • Infants younger than 6 months of age
  • Those with severe, life-threatening allergies to flu shot ingredients

What are the Flu Shot Side Effects?

As with any vaccine, there are sometimes flu shot side effects. Common flu shot side effects can include:

  • Soreness
  • Redness
  • Swelling where the shot was given
  • Headache
  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue

While flu shot side effects are undesirable, they're generally mild and go away within a few days. It's important to note that, compared to the flu shot, actual flu symptoms are far worse. Flu victims can suffer from difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea, severe pain and, in worst cases, death.

What are the Benefits of Getting a Flu Shot?

After knowing the answer to the question: what is a flu shot, you’ll be able to better understand its many benefits. There are many reasons to get a flu shot each year. Along with preventing you from getting the flu, top flu shot benefits include:

  • Reducing the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working age adults and older adults.
  • Lowering the risk of flu-associated acute respiratory infection in pregnant women by nearly one-half and even protecting babies from the flu several months after birth.
  • Saving children's lives and significantly reducing child mortality rates from the flu.
  • Reducing the flu's severity if you become ill despite vaccination.
  • Protecting those around you who are more vulnerable to serious illness, like infants and senior citizens.
  • Allowing healthcare workers more time to care for COVID-19 victims and freeing up space in hospitals.

Schedule Your Flu Shot & Stay Healthy This Season With ArmorVax

If you're ready to get a flu shot and protect yourself this flu season, ArmorVax is here for you. From helping you determine where to get a flu shot to giving you easy access to your records, we're making the vaccination process simpler than ever. To stay healthy and eliminate the stress that comes with getting your flu shot, download the ArmorVax app today!