Flu Vaccine Effectiveness

Topics: Influenza vaccine, Influenza, Vaccine Pages: 3 (881 words) Published: March 31, 2013
Flu Vaccine Effectiveness

Have you ever considered injecting yourself with a virus? Yes, purposefully. Well, if you’ve ever received a vaccine, then the answer, quite simply, is yes. Vaccines, in fact, are shots which inject the patient with a small dose of virus particles. These particles help the body build a natural immunity to the disease or virus. Who would have thought that the best way to prevent you from getting sick is actually exposing yourself!? But there’s more to vaccines than meet the eye. Who should get vaccinated? Is it safe? Most importantly, is it even effective? The most commonly administered vaccine in the United States is used to combat influenza in its various forms. There are four main types of flu vaccines. The most common, the traditional shot, is injected into the muscle. This differs from the intradermal shot, which is only skin deep. Then, there is also a high-dose variant made specifically for seniors above the age of 65. Last, but not least, is the nasal-spray version of the vaccine. These variations have been developed for different age groups that range from two years in age, up to, and exceeding, 65. But how does the vaccine work? Once injected with the vaccine, the body goes to work creating anti-bodies to fight off the milder flu infection. Due to the high number of strains, research is conducted each year to determine which strains are expected to be the most prevalent. These strains are then placed in the vaccines and administered to patient’s nation wide. As with all medicines, there are side effects that accompany these vaccines. Soreness or swelling of the arm in which the dose is given is the most common, yet least serious of the side effects. Vaccines have also been shown to cause cold-like symptoms, sniffles, headaches and in some cases even fevers. It is sometimes also reported that individuals become ill with the flu after receiving their vaccines. This has led to a belief that the vaccines actually cause the...
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