The severity of flu and the rate of flu death worldwide necessitates the need to protect against it. Taking regular precautions might not be enough for individuals to protect themselves against this health complication. The most active and effective way to protect oneself against the flu is the use of flu vaccines.
The flu vaccine offers valid protection for many individuals against influenza or the flu since it is a virus. This vaccine is often administered in form of nasal spray or shots, and this shot can offer up to 60% protection against flu.
One of the essential components of this flu vaccine is the mercury-based preservative called thimerosal. Thimerosal prevents germs from growing. As much as this compound is effective and safe, it and other compounds have few side effects.
Although most of the flu vaccine’s side effects are mild, it is still worth due attention and recognition. While some of these side effects start almost immediately after taking the shots, some take a longer time to manifest.
Below is a list of some of the flu vaccine’s side effects categorized as mild and severe. It also contains a review of some of the best flu medicine and other valuable information about flu, including flu treatment at home, and flu when pregnant.
- 1 Mild Side Effects of Flu Vaccine
- 1.1 Severe Side Effects of Flu Vaccine
- 1.2 Top 5 Flu Medicines
- 1.3 The Prevalence of Flu and its Severity
- 1.4 Coronavirus Vs. Flu
- 1.5 Who Should Take Flu Shots?
- 1.6 Conclusion
Mild Side Effects of Flu Vaccine
The most common and more frequent side effects of the flu vaccine are usually mild. They often don’t stay too long, and you might not have to take any special type of treatment. Below are some of the mild flu vaccine side effect:
- General Aches and Pain: General aches of the body, particularly headache, is one of the major side effects of the flu vaccine. You can have slight pain and achiness in the muscle throughout the body after your vaccine shot. This side effect will only last for a day or two before disappearing. While this side effect can disappear independently, taking pain relievers can help ease the pain on time.
- Dizziness and Fainting: You can find yourself feeling dizzy after your flu shot, and some of those that have this side effect can eventually faint. This side effect shouldn’t last more than a day or two. It will be better to inform your health care provider about this effect before taking subsequent shots. Taking snacks such as a veggie burger before the shot and resting a while after taking the shots can prevent this side effect.
- Fever: Fever that is accompanied by a temperature of 38°C (101°F) is another side effect of the flu vaccine. This fever is, however, mild, and it should go away in a day or two. However, if you feel bothered about the fever, you can consider taking medications.
However, it is essential to note that taking medications to mitigate the side effects of the flu vaccine needs strict regulations. While some researchers claim that it limits the body response to this vaccine, others claim that it limits the vaccine’s potency. However, research on the interaction between medications and flu vaccine are still ongoing and inconclusive.
Severe Side Effects of Flu Vaccine
The severe side effects of the flu vaccine raise greater concern than mild ones. Some of the notable severe side effects of the flu vaccine include;
- High Fever: The high fever, in this case, is more persistent, accompanied by a temperature of 38°C (101°F). It persists beyond a day or two with serious symptoms, and you might have to see your doctor.
- Severe Allergic Reaction: Some individuals often give a severe allergic reaction to flu vaccine shots. The allergy symptoms often start a few hours after taking the shot, and the symptoms include swelling, troubled breathing, weakness, dizziness, fast heart rate, and hives. In this case, you should call the doctor and get urgent attention before it becomes severe.
- Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS): This syndrome happens only in very rare cases. GBS is a neurological disease that causes paralysis and weakness all through the body. However, GBS only happens in individuals that have experienced these conditions in the past. Therefore, these individuals need to inform their doctor about their history before going ahead with the flu vaccine.
Top 5 Flu Medicines
As much as vaccines are essential and effective in preventing flu or influenza, it still has a way of manifesting in some individuals. The people without the vaccine are more vulnerable than individuals that have taken the vaccine. Just as we have some good vitamin recommendations for kids, below are some of the top flu medicines that are effective in keeping the flu under check.
|Vitamin C 1000mg – Airborne Very Berry Effervescent Tablets||
|Mucinex 12 Hour Extended-Release Tablets||
|Boiron Oscillococcinum Homeopathic Medicine||
|Vicks VapoPads VSP-19 Refill Pads||
|Zicam Cold Remedy Nasal Swabs||
This medicine is a gluten-free immune supplement that actively keeps the body strong against flu and influenza. This medicine is potent and high in antioxidants to deliver an impressive result. The antioxidants inactivate free radicals that can harm cells, improve the immune system, and promote immune health.
It also contains zinc, an essential nutrient essential for the manufacture of over 300 enzymes to support several immune cells. It is suitable for individuals of all ages.
Mucinex is a flu medicine that is particularly suitable for easing chest congestion. Flu often congests the chest with excess mucus, and this product actively reduces this congestion and aid breathing. This product has two layers; one of the layers works for immediate release to help with quick relief, and the other layer works for an extended period, up to 12 hours.
Boiron Oscillococcinum Homeopathic Medicine is a fast-acting product that works from the first symptom of the flu. It works on the body to temporarily relieve body aches, fatigue, headache, chills, fever, and other elementary flu symptoms. This medicine reduces the severity of the flu and limits the duration of the symptom.
This product has a negligible level of drug interactions, contradictions, and does not mask any symptoms. Aside from granting you relief from the flu symptoms, it will also grant you a healthy sleep. It is safe for individuals above the age of 2.
Vicks VapoPads is a waterless vaporizer scent pad designed to grant relief from pain, cold, and flu with soothing menthol vapors. The action of this drug will make sleep easy and breathing easier. It also eases pain from congestions. It grants you good and healthy sleep, which translates to the fact that you get relief from your flu while you sleep.
This cold-shortening nasal swab is zinc-free and homeopathic. It actively helps to relieve various cold symptoms and nasal congestions. This product is effective because it contains active ingredients like cooling methanol and soothing eucalyptus. Zicam cold remedy works from early symptoms such as sniffs, coughs, and cold. Overall, it provides multi-symptom flu relief with fast and effective performance.
The Prevalence of Flu and its Severity
“Is flu a virus?” is one of the major questions that often runs through the mind of many individuals. Flu is a virus known as the influenza virus; thus, accounting for one of the major reasons for its severity.
Flu deaths per year worldwide got a lot of attention in the health sector. According to the United States Center for Disease Control (CDC) report, the estimated number of flu deaths 2019 worldwide and the number of flu deaths 2020 worldwide amount to tens of thousands.
CDC estimates that between October 1, 2019 and April 2, 2020, about 39,000,000 – 56,000,000 were down with flu illness and about 18,000,000 – 26,000,000 made medical visits. Through this period, 410,000 – 740,000 were hospitalized for flu and 24,000-62,000 flu deaths were recorded.
The world is hoping against coronavirus second wave, taking flu shot is more important now than ever. Although flu shots are not a guaranteed protection against coronavirus, it still plays an essential role. It reduces the vulnerability of individuals against this deadly virus. Both coronavirus and flu have similar symptoms; thus, only tests can differentiate the two conditions.
Hopefully, a second coronavirus wave will not accompany the fall and winter. However, the spread of flu often accompanies these seasons. The symptoms of flu and early signs of the coronavirus are quite similar and can be mistaken for one another. Therefore, aside from mitigating the possibility of being affected by the flu, it also makes things easy for the frontline workers in charge of responding to Covid-19.
Who Should Take Flu Shots?
Taking flu shots is often recommended for any individual above six months. It is especially important for people who are the risk of flu complications such as pregnant women, individuals with chronic health conditions, and aged individuals above the age of 65.
Nevertheless, flu vaccines are not recommended for some categories of people. These people include those who have shown allergic reactions to flu vaccines or shots in the past, those currently down with moderate to severe fever, and those with a severe allergy to eggs.
Flu is one of the most common viral infections caused by the influenza virus. The symptoms of this virus are usually mild at first before progressing to the complicated stage. The good news is that you can mitigate your vulnerability to this virus with flu vaccines or flu shots. But the sad news is that these flu vaccines have side effects.
However, most flu vaccine side effects are mild, and they often disappear without any special medical attention. The cases where these side effects are severe are quite rare, and it is more common with some specific categories of individuals. In cases of persistent side effects, you can take the flu medicines listed above.