Flu (or influenza) belongs to the group of illnesses affecting the respiratory system of a person by means of influenza viruses. The severity of the condition varies from the mild to serious, and in some cases it can even be fatal. When it comes to protecting yourself from this illness, it is best to get inoculated by a flu vaccination at the beginning of each year. As far as statistics are concerned and taking the US into consideration, each year 5 to 20 percent of the population falls under the influence of this illness. In addition, as many as 200,000 people require hospitalization due to the unpredictable flu induced health complications. What is even more troubling is that as many as 36,000 cases have a fatal outcome on a yearly basis. Also certain groups of people are at a far greater risk of coming down with the more severe form of the flu, such as the elderly people, small children, pregnant women and persons suffering from various chronic health conditions like diabetes, asthma and different heart related diseases.
Vaccination target group
When it comes to the particular group of people who are in a greater need of vaccination than others, there really isn’t a clear cut distinction, since inoculation is recommended to every person seeking to protect him/herself from coming down with the flu. Despite this, there do exist certain people who are advised more than others to get vaccinated. The main reasons behind this is the fact that the possible flu related complications can take a toll on their health to a much greater extent, and cause consequences that are not only severe, but also fatal in nature. Therefore, people who should be at the forefront when the inoculation season starts are the following:
- Children aged 6 months up to 19 years of age
- Women who are pregnant
- Persons aged 50 and above
- People suffering from any kind of a condition that is chronic in nature
- Persons residing in nursing homes and similar institutions
- Persons who either live with or are taking care of people who are under the influence of the flu
Vaccines – types
When it comes to vaccines themselves, there exist two different kinds, namely:
- Inactivated vaccine (the one the greatest majority of people gets each year round)
- Live weakened influenza vaccine (spray that is taken by way of breathing it in through your nose)
In addition, for those persons who have passed the 65 age limit there exists a special type of the vaccine, i.e. a high dose inactivated vaccine. Unfortunately, even such a healing “tool” has its downfalls and side effects. Among those most prominent are redness followed by the appearance of sore spots and swellings, hoarseness, cough, red eyes, mild fever and minor pains/aches.