It’s flu season, which means public health experts are beginning to remind people that it’s time for their annual vaccine. (If you’re thinking about skipping it this year, consider the fact that some experts are predicting it’s going to be an especially nasty season.)
The flu shot is recommended for nearly all people by an advisory committee of experts and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as it protects against the three or four flu viruses that scientists anticipate will be circulating during the season, which starts in October.
Is there anyone that experts say should not get a flu shot? Yes, but there aren’t many of them.
Babies under 6 months should not get the shot, according to the CDC. Other people who may need to pass are those with life-threatening allergies to the actual vaccine or ingredients that are in it, for instance, gelatin or antibiotics.
There are also some people who should consult their doctor before getting the shot. This includes people who have an egg allergy or are allergic to other ingredients in the vaccine. There are special considerations made for people who have had significant or moderate reactions to eggs, since the majority of the vaccines contain a small amount of egg. Flu vaccines have been made using an egg-based process for over 70 years.
If you have ever had the paralyzing illness Guillain-Barré Syndrome and if you are not feeling well at the time of your injection, you should also consult your doctor, say experts.
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