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What are the pros and cons of getting a flu vaccine?

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Quick Answer

A flu vaccination offers protection from the flu, leads to a milder sickness if a person catches the flu, and reduces risk of hospitalization or death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Its possible disadvantage is the lack of benefits if the vaccine does not match circulating viruses.

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Full Answer

Flu vaccines generally deliver effective results in healthy adults and older children, notes the CDC. Nonetheless, it still offers some protection for older adults, young children and people with serious health conditions, who are all at a higher risk of getting severely ill from the flu. Studies reveal that flu vaccines can reduce the risk of flu-related intensive care unit admission among children and decrease cardiovascular events in patients with heart disease. It also provides protection for pregnant women and their babies.

The capability of flu vaccines to prevent flu illnesses varies in each season and depends on factors such as the vaccine recipient's age and health condition and the match between the vaccine and existing viruses, explains the CDC. Every season calls for new vaccines as researchers constantly determine the most common flu viruses during the season.

Trivalent flu vaccines offer protection from three flu viruses, while quadrivalent flu vaccines provide defense from four flu viruses, states the CDC. These vaccines aim to protect people from infections and sicknesses resulting from flu viruses.

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