This is What’s in the Flu Shot

This is What’s in the Flu Shot

Every shot has some strain of the flu in it, to help you build your immunity.

It’s flu season. If you swear by the flu shot, you may have already gotten yours. In contrast, if you think the vaccine is the worst thing to hit humankind since we starting walking upright, you might be found sipping hot cocoa in a festively decorated park, hoping for the best. (Grab the hand sanitizer, Joe).

We can’t avoid the fact that whether you hate it or love it, the flu shot is out there.  I say get it, as just about every child who dies from the flu these days didn’t get theirs, and you’d likely wish to count yourself and your offspring among the living. 

It’s true the flu shot won’t prevent you from falling sick with the flu. The shot is, however, known to lessen the blow of the flu and increase your chances of being able to fight off the illness on your own without being hospitalized. Win.

(Think your age and fitness level keep you out of the category of people hard-hit with the flu? Think again. The illness targets anyone it comes across).

Related: Healthy 12-Year Old Dies of the Flu in Florida in Just a Few Days

So, what’s actually in that juice?  The flu shot is available in various styles. There is inactivated influenza vaccine (IIV), the recombinant influenza vaccine (RIV), and Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV). Some have three components in them, and others have four. 

All contain a form of the virus, which also comes in three types including influenza A, B and C. The amount is small, but significant enough that your body will develop increased immunity to those strains of the flu, through producing antibodies.  

In case you’re curious, experts say that most years, one or two strains of type A flu are in circulation, as well as a type B. Each year, the World Health Organization (WHO) assess in February which strains of the flu are most likely to hit North America in the coming year. And then we arm ourselves. 

Worried about egg and mercury? For more information on your particular flu shot, ask your doctor or pharmacist for a complete list of ingredients. 

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