Who Should Not Get a Flu Shot?


Every year about this time the public service announcements begin. The Center for Disease Control releases press releases and media medical experts make the rounds warning parents about the dangers of the flu and recommend that they at the very least take their children in for an influenza vaccine, also known as the flu shot. Those looking for Cleveland flu shots should be aware that not everyone is able to take advantage of the vaccine.

There are three groups of people (over the six months old) that should avoid the flu shot. Those groups are people that have had an allergic reaction to a flu shot in the past, those that have an allergy to eggs, and those that developed the rare Guillian-Barre syndrome within six months after receiving the injection.

Anybody who has had an allergic reaction to an influenza vaccine certainly knows the signs, but for those that do not they can be life threatening (though rare). The symptoms of an allergic reaction can occur anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours after receiving the injection. The person can exhibit any number of the symptoms, which include problems breathing exhibited as hoarseness and wheezing, palor (which is when the skin begins to loose its color an appear pale), a general weakness, a sense of disorientation or dizziness, and an increased rate of the heartbeat.

This allergic reaction is correlated with an allergy to eggs. This does not mean that the two reactions are necessarily related. Those people who are allergic to eggs may show an allergy to the flu shot because, according to the American College of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunity the influenza vaccine may have a small amount of egg protein. If a person has an allergic reaction to the flu shot this does not mean a person is allergic to eggs. There may be other causes, so do not fear a visit to a Cleveland Urgent Care facility for a flu shot only to discover a long dormant allergy to eggs.

The last group that should avoid the call to search out a Cleveland flu shot location are those that developed the Guilain-Barre Syndrome within six months of receiving the vaccination. The Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) is a condition where the body’s own immune system begins to attack the nervous system. GBS is exhibited by a fever, nerve damage, and muscle weakness according to the CDC.

GBS first occurred in 1976 in response to a flu vaccine, but only one study since the 1976 occurrence has suggested that the syndrome has an association with a vaccine released since 1976. Still, it is suggested that one of every million people who receive the flu shot will show signs of GBS.

Obviously, the flu shot has some rare risks associated with it, but overall medical practitioners would without any hesitancy advice anyone in the Cleveland area to pursue receiving the flu shot. Still, it is important to realize that any time a foreign substance is injected into the body there are possible risks. Be sure to ask your medical provider what those risks are for this flu vaccine or any other instance.

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