Influenza Vaccine Has More Benefits This Year

Influenza Vaccine can help

Now the flu shot may protect patients from flu complications, but it also has other benefits.  By getting this years influenza vaccine it can also protect a patient from having problems with cardiovascular problems that include stroke and heart attack.  A study that was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association showed flu shots not only protect against the flu but also lower the risk of heart complications.  According to this study, only 2.9 percent of patients that had the influenza vaccine had a severe cardio event, and about 4.7 percent of patients who had only a placebo  given to them suffered from cardio events. For the prevention of stroke and cardiovascular events, doctors plan on doing a clinical study to verify how effective the flu shot can actually be.

For those of you who are allergic to eggs, there is now an egg free influenza vaccine!  This vaccine is called Flublok, and is a pure vaccine that does not contain preservatives, egg proteins, antibiotics, gelatin or latex.  Those who are 18-49 years of age are qualified to obtain it.  It’s about time right?

There is also a current debate on whether health care workers should be mandated to receive an influenza vaccine.  By vaccinating health care workers it can help to improve the safety of patients and other health care workers.  But the argument is that forcing health care workers to comply with a mandatory flu vaccine does not mean it will actually reduce the spread of the flu to any patients.  This is due to the fact that there is a lack of research evidence supporting such a reduction of the flu in long-term care patients and health care workers, thus mandating such a requirement seems unjust.  This so-called mandate would also break the right to informed consent for many health care workers.  So until more evidence supports that influenza vaccines show a positive benefit, many believe this should be a personal decision at the moment.

Many people seem to be stuck in their ways or opinions when it comes down to the influenza vaccine.  So a few myths about the flu and the shot still continue to float around it seems as well.  Some people still believe that the flu shot can give them the flu, but of course it can not because the virus has been inactivated.  Although some mild side-effects can occur, such as soreness from the shot because it takes up to two weeks for the shot to become fully effective.  Or what about when you get the flu, there is no cure for it!  Of course that is not true either because, while many antibiotics do not work on the viruses, an antiviral call Tamiflu does work quite effectively when taken within the first 48 hours.  There of course are many other myths floating around there!  But what should one do if you have further questions that need answering? Contact and talk with your doctor of course!

By Tina Elliott

 

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