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Who should REALLY get the flu vaccine (Pros vs Cons)

Don’t fancy having to be out because you’re really sick for a week this winter? No? Because that is the reality of having the flu. I am talking about the influenza virus, not just ‘man flu’ or the common cold, which people often refer to as ‘the flu’. Contracting the influenza virus, which the flu vaccine protects against, could have a normally healthy person bedridden for up to a week, and even longer getting back to full health.

Unfortunately, you wouldn't be as glowing as this little boy if you were sick with the flu! :(

Flu ≠ Cold. Flu symptoms come on very suddenly, and often include high fever, a strong headache, severe aches and pains, extreme exhaustion, chest discomfort and cough. Some of these symptoms, such as cough and fatigue, can last for several weeks. So that leads me to the following question...

Who REALLY needs to get the flu vaccine? Is it not just old/sick/at risk people?

Basically, anyone that cannot afford to be sick for a whole week, should get the flu vaccine. We often hear about at-risk groups that should definitely get the flu vaccine, because they are at higher risk of complications from the flu. This does not mean, however, that other people don’t need to get it.

The principle of vaccination works on the basis that the more people that are vaccinated, the less the disease can spread. So not only does getting the flu vaccine decrease your chances of contracting the flu, and being out sick for a week, but it also protects those you come into contact with, such as parents, grandparents, young children, people with asthma and other respiratory conditions.

When we protect ourselves, we are also helping to contribute to communal protection from the illness, and hence we are working for the common good! Doesn’t that just give you extra reason to get it?

If that hasn’t convinced you, think of how likely you are to contract the flu. Do you engage with the public in your work? Does your workplace have a communal canteen? Does your commute ever involve public transport? Are you a healthcare professional? In all of these instances and more, you are at risk of contracting the flu. Just by being out in public you can get it, from airborne particles when people cough/sneeze.

Use public transport? You could come into contact with the flu virus!

The Centre for Disease Prevention and Control recommends that everyone aged 6 months and older should get a flu vaccine every season.

PROS. VS CONS of Getting the Flu Vaccine

Below, I have listed pros and cons of getting the winter flu vaccine. While of course there are cons, I have listed them for the sake of transparency, and I think you will find that the pros far outweigh the cons.

table comparing pros vs cons of getting the flu vaccine.

I hope you spread the word about getting the flu vaccine. The season for getting it starts in September/October, and adults over the age of 18 can get the vaccine from their GP or Pharmacist or Occupational Health Department. Younger people should get the vaccine from their GP.

What are your thoughts on flu vaccinations? In the pharmacy I often hear mixed opinions, and many are not often supported by evidence, but by tales and scaremongering, and not facts. Make sure your information comes from a reputable source. Feel free to send on any questions you may have! i love hearing from you.

Lots of love,


P.S. for really great, in-depth information on the flu vaccine, head to the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

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