The Truth About The Flu Shot

              The Truth About The Flu Shot

               Manage Your Health And Help Your Brain


Want to keep your brain healthy? Keep the rest of your body healthy. You may have heard that the flu is spreading fast this year. 80% of the country is now affected. 70% to 80% of the people around you who are coughing have the flu! Those coughs are sending the influenza virus flying. It lands on objects and people. The virus can survive two to eight hours on metal and plastic. One sneeze or cough in a closed elevator sprays virus everywhere. Think about it. The sneezer/cougher leaves an elevator and you get on. If you touch one of the surfaces where virus has landed, for example, a floor button, and later touch your face, you are setting yourself up to catch the flu. The same can happen at the ATM machine. So, what can you do?

• Use your knuckle to push the ATM and elevator floor buttons. You are less likely to touch your face with that part of your hand

• Get a flu shot. The best time to get it is in September or October since flu season can start as early as October and run through May. But it’s not too late. There is plenty of vaccine still available, enough of the season remains to make it worthwhile, and this is an especially bad year

• Wash your hands. Wash your hands. Wash you hands. I can’t say it, (or write it), too many times.

Get rid of the misconception that the influenza vaccine causes the flu. If you get the injection the vaccine is dead. It can’t give you the flu. The nasal spray vaccine is live but weakened. Based on clinical studies it can’t cause the flu either. To be safe the nasal spray is NOT recommended for infants, pregnant women, adults 50 and over, or anyone with a medical condition. The vaccines work by causing your body to create an immune response and make antibodies. Those antibodies then protect you against influenza. As your body makes the antibodies you may experience fatigue and muscle aches. That’s because your body is working hard. You may also experience cold-like symptoms: runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, and low-grade fever. That sometimes makes people think the shot has given them the flu. It takes your body about two weeks to develop an adequate antibody response and during that time you can still get the flu. That also makes people think the vaccine has given them the flu. It didn’t! It doesn’t! It can’t! Go get one!

Every year up to 20% of Americans get the flu. Many people are hospitalized and some die. Decrease your risk. Get vaccinated. No, it’s not 100%, but if you still get the flu it will probably be milder than in someone who didn’t get vaccinated. Serious side effects are rare. The benefits of getting the flu shot far outweigh the risks for most of us. There are people who should AVOID the flu vaccine, or at least talk to their doctor before getting it…

• anyone who has had an allergic response to a flu shot in the past

• anyone with an egg allergy since the influenza vaccine is grown in eggs

• anyone who has had Guillain-Barre syndrome

• anyone ill with a fever. If you have a fever, get the shot when you’re better

Many people are considered high-risk. They are more likely to develop complications of the flu, like pneumonia. Or they are in contact with someone more likely to develop complications. For these people, and many of us fall into one or more of these groups, the flu vaccination is especially recommended, (as long as you do not fall into one of the categories I mentioned earlier)…

• all children 6 months to 18 years old

• adults 50 years and older

• women who will be pregnant during flu season

• those who live in nursing homes

• adults of all ages with chronic heart or lung conditions like asthma, or any condition that weakens the immune system like diabetes

• household contacts and caregivers of kids younger than 5, especially of children younger than 6 months who are too young to get the flu vaccine

• people who come in contact with those in high risk groups — healthcare workers, household contacts and caregivers

Interested in decreasing your risk of stroke, Alzheimer’s, and other forms of dementia? Well, there are “10 Steps” you can start taking today. Step #9 is Manage Your Health. You don’t want the flu. You might get pneumonia. If you get pneumonia, your body and brain get less oxygen. So get your flu shot. Wash your hands. Take care of your body, take care of your brain.

Every day… Say NO To Stroke!

Dr. Fraser

Interested in the “10 Steps” to reduce your risk of stroke and dementia? Visit and subscribe to the newsletter.

Article Source:,_MD


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