It’s the peak of flu season. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “In the United States, flu viruses are most common during the fall and winter months. Influenza activity often begins to increase in October and November. Most of the time flu activity peaks between December and February.” So, for individuals who have not yet gotten their annual flu shot, is it too late to get vaccinated?
No. Also according to the CDC, the flu shot typically begins to work in about two weeks. This is how long it takes the necessary antibodies to develop in the body. With several months left in the 2018-2019 flu season (flu season can end as late as May), and with the potential to get the flu any time of year, the CDC is still urging just about everyone to get vaccinated against influenza.
Is the Flu Shot Effective?
The flu shot’s overall effectiveness varies from year to year. While effectiveness data for the 2018-2019 flu season are not yet available, the CDC reports that, “recent studies show vaccine reduces the risk of flu illness by about 40% to 60% among the overall population during seasons when most circulating flu viruses are like the vaccine viruses.”
Although this may sound low, the CDC says that getting immunized is well worth the modest amount of time and effort involved. With the risk of potentially-serious (and even fatal) complications – and with the risk of spreading the disease to others who may be susceptible to complications – the CDC recommends vaccination for everyone six months of age and older unless otherwise advised by their doctors.
What are the Risks Associated with the Flu Shot?
While the flu shot is generally considered safe, getting vaccinated does carry certain risks. Some of these risks include:
- Anaphylaxis – Anaphylaxis is an acute hypersensitivity (or allergic) reaction that can have dangerous consequences. Certain formulations of the flu shot are prepared using an egg protein, and individuals with egg allergies (or allergies to other flu shot ingredients) can experience adverse reactions to the flu shot.
- Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) – Guillain-Barre Syndrome is a rare but serious condition that has been linked to the flu shot and certain other vaccinations. There are several variants of GBS, including the chronic variant of chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy (CIDP), and individuals diagnosed with these varying disorders can face debilitating and long-term effects.
- Shoulder Injuries Related to Vaccine Administration (SIRVA) – Shoulder injuries related to vaccine administration are among the most-common negative effects of getting the flu shot. These injuries result from errors during the flu shot injection, such as inserting the needle too high, too low or too deep into the arm. Pain is usually the first symptom, often accompanied by limited range of motion, muscle weakness and other physical effects.
Contact National Vaccine Lawyer Leah V. Durant
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with a vaccine-related injury following a flu shot injection, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation about your legal rights. To find out if you may be entitled to compensation under the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP), please call 202-800-1711 or tell us how to reach you online today.
Categories: Flu Vaccine