Effectiveness Of The Flu Shot

The flu vaccination will keep you out of the hospital in most cases, but that doesn't mean you won't get sick.

Many people are skeptical about getting the flu shot because they hear stories about how it makes you sick.

"I had a little bit of a case of it right after I got my first shot and I kept blaming it on the shot but they say that's not possible so I don't know." said Mo Hightower a senior citizen living in Amarillo.

But it is possible, and not uncommon. The flu vaccine whether you get the shot or mist takes about 2 weeks to build antibodies in your immune system.  According to the Centers For Disease Control the vaccine is effective...and you may even get sick...just not as sick.

"You can coincidentally catch a cold after you've received the flu vaccine which is a separate virus, separate disease process, so it doesn't prevent you from having any sort of illness throughout the season, but it does prevent you from the more serious illness of the flu." said Nurse Practitioner Charlene Seale at Living Well Express Care.

An illness that takes hundreds of lives every year, right here in Amarillo.

"It can be a very serious illness that can cause a lot of respiratory compromise, dehydration, that can result in hospitalization that you may or may not recover from the illness itself,  because it can be a very serious illness to have."

Infants, children, anyone over 65 or with a compromised immune system, the C.D.C. says get vaccinated.  As for everyone else, they say get vaccinated to keep that high risk population just mentioned safe by preventing the spread of the virus.

Hightower says "I just think at my age I'd be silly not to get it."