Flu season can be a problem for people that have a higher risk of contracting the flu, but there is a preventative in the form of a flu shot or immunization that is given yearly. Are you a good candidate for the flu shot? Most people are, but many people don't understand when or why they should get their shot.

When To Get Immunized

The best time to consider getting a flu shot is not after you have already gotten the flu. The idea of the flu shot is that it will help you avoid getting the flu, not cure it after you have gotten it. It would be best if you considered getting your immunization several weeks or a month before the flu seasons start, so check with your doctor because that is not the same in every part of the country. 

Most doctor's offices will start giving the shot when the timing is right, so if you let them know you want to get a flu shot, they can set up an appointment for you once they have started giving the shot to patients. 

Who Should Get The Shot

The answer to this is not as clear as you might think. If you are at risk of getting the flu, you should have a flu shot. For people with chronic illnesses like diabetes or heart disease, a flu shot can help minimize the risk of getting the flu and having related health complications. 

It is also recommended that children and the elderly get flu shots every year. Because they do not have immune systems as capable of fighting off the flu as healthy adults do, getting kids and the elderly the flu shot sometimes keeps them from getting the flu at all, but at least minimizes the strength of it if they do contract the flu. 

Who Should Not Get The Shot

People with underlying or extreme health issues that could be at risk of complications from the flu may not want to get the shot. His might seem strange, but because the flu shot is essential a small dose of the flu, some people get a mild case of the bug when they get the shot. For people with extreme health conditions may not want to take a chance of getting any amount of the illness, so they may opt-out of the flu shot altogether. 

The flu shot is not recommended for children under six months old, either. If you have a newborn, they do not have an immune system that has developed enough to deal with the flu shot, and the best option is to minimize their contact with people with cold and flu systems as much as you can.