Flu Season Isn’t Over. Should You Get Vaccinated?

istock-495879964-flu-seasonWith several months left to go in this year’s flu season, it is not too late to get a flu shot. If you have put off getting vaccinated because you have questions about the health risks, here is what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) would like for you to know about this season’s flu vaccination:

Is the Flu Shot Effective?

For the 2015-2016 flu season, the CDC estimates that the flu shot prevented 5.1 million illnesses, 71,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. According to the CDC, “An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to reduce your risk of getting sick with seasonal flu and spreading it to others.”

Is the Flu Shot for Everyone?

Subject to certain exceptions, the CDC recommends that everyone six months of age and older be vaccinated with the annual flu shot. While the vaccines used in previous years presented allergy risks for certain populations (such as those with egg allergies), this risk has been eliminated in many of the vaccine variants approved for the 2016-2017 flu season.

There are still some people, however, who should avoid being vaccinated against the flu. If you have a documented history of certain allergic reactions, or if you or your doctor has concerns regarding other health conditions, it is important that you speak with your doctor before getting vaccinated.

Where Should I Get My Flu Shot?

Flu shots are available from a variety of different sources. The places where flu shots can be administered are:

  • A clinic or health center
  • Your doctor’s office
  • Your local health department
  • Pharmacies
  • Schools, places of employment and other approved locations

One of the biggest risks associated with the flu shot is the risk of shoulder injury related to vaccine administration (SIRVA). These injuries result from errors that occur during administration of the vaccine, rather than from the vaccine’s contents.  As a result, it is important to ensure that the facility administering your vaccine is up-to-date on the appropriate protocol for flu shot injections.

Can I Use the Nasal Spray Vaccine Instead of Getting a Flu Shot?

No. The CDC is recommending against use of the nasal spray flu vaccine for the 2016-2017 flu season due to lack of effectiveness in prior years.

What are the “Normal” Side Effects of a Flu Shot?

The CDC notes that the following are common “minor” side effects that may result following your receipt of the flu vaccine during the 2016-2017 flu season:

  • Aches
  • Low grade fever
  • Soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site

Contrary to popular belief, you cannot become sick with the flu as the result of having received the flu vaccination. However, although proven to be safe and effective for most people, as with any medication or vaccine, there are risks associated with the flu vaccination.  Instances of SIRVA have been on the rise, and a small percentage of flu shot recipients are diagnosed with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) each year.

Nationwide Legal Representation for Vaccine Injury Claims

The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is a national law firm that represents individuals diagnosed with vaccine injuries in claims under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). If you have experienced pain after a flu shot and would like more information about your legal rights, call (202) 800-1711 or contact us online for a free consultation today.

Leah Durant Bio

Experienced litigation attorney Leah Durant focuses on representing clients in complex vaccine litigation matters. Leah Durant is the owner and principal attorney of the Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC, a litigation firm based in Washington, DC. Leah Durant and her staff represent clients and their families who suffer from vaccine-related injuries, adverse vaccine reactions and vaccine-related deaths. The Law Offices of Leah V. Durant, PLLC is dedicated to assisting individuals in recovering the highest level of compensation as quickly and efficiently as possible. To learn more, contact vaccine attorney Leah Durant today.


Categories: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Flu Vaccine, Guillain-Barre Syndrome (Flu GBS), Shoulder Injury Related to Vaccine Administration or SIRVA, vaccine injury

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