We sometimes hear that folks are going to skip their yearly flu vaccine because they don’t believe in flu shots, they never get sick, or they think that flu shots don’t work or are dangerous.
Of course, none of those are good reasons.
Three Reasons to Skip a Flu Shot This Year
Flu vaccines are safe and have many benefits, even if they aren’t any where near 100% effective.
So are there any legitimate reasons to skip a flu shot?
In fact, three very good reasons to skip a flu shot include:
- being younger than 6 months of age
- having a severe allergic reaction (e.g., anaphylaxis) after a previous dose of flu vaccine or to any component of the flu vaccine
- and, uh…
Actually, although folks might have many of bad excuses, there are only two good reasons to skip a flu shot…
So, infants who aren’t old enough to be vaccinated yet, and anyone who has had a life-threatening reaction to a previous dose.
Additional precautions, but not true contraindications, do including having had Guillain-Barré syndrome <6 weeks after a previous dose of influenza vaccine and having a moderate or severe acute illness with or without fever when you are planning to get vaccinated.
What about egg allergies?
Even if you have had a severe reaction to eggs, you can still get a flu shot. Just get it get it in an inpatient or outpatient medical setting (such as a hospital, clinic, health department, or physician’s office), so that you can be supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions.
Bad Reasons to Skip a Flu Shot
Are you scared of shots? Flumist is back.
Are you skipping the flu shot because you never get sick? How lucky do you feel this year? Don’t continue to gamble that you won’t get the flu. Increase your chances of staying well by getting a flu shot, the best way to avoid the flu.
There aren’t any natural alternatives that work better, no matter how hard you want to believe that going to a chiropractor, using essential oils, or homeopathic remedies might be helpful.
The flu vaccine doesn’t weaken your immune system.
There are no hidden or harmful ingredients in flu vaccines.
The flu vaccine is not going to give you the flu.
And the flu is definitely not a mild disease! There were 176 pediatric flu deaths last flu season, and as in most years, most were unvaccinated.
Don’t wait. Get your flu shot.
More on Flu Vaccine Contraindications
- MMWR – Prevention and Control of Seasonal Influenza with Vaccines: Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices—United States, 2018–19 Influenza Season
- CDC – Vaccination: Who Should Do It, Who Should Not and Who Should Take Precautions
- CDC – Flu Vaccine and People with Egg Allergies
- CDC – No More Excuses: You Need a Flu Vaccine
- CDC – How many flu-associated deaths occur in people who have been vaccinated?
- Influenza Associated Pediatric Mortality Tool
- Influenza ACIP Vaccine Recommendations
- Guide to Contraindications and Precautions to Commonly Used Vaccines
- CDC – Vaccine Contraindications and Precautions
- 7 Excuses for Skipping the Flu Shot—Debunked
- No More Excuses– Get That Flu Vaccine Now For You And Your Family