Flu vaccinations: are they worth it? - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Flu vaccinations: what kind should you get, if at all?


Local doctors say the large demand for flu shots they've received compared to last year has taken them by surprise. 

They are allotted a certain number of Medicaid vaccines for underinsured families, but for the rest of their private-insurance patients they have to guess in advance how many they think they'll need.  Like many others in Columbus, one office says they've run out of nasal spray.

 "Last year was a pretty mild flu season; this year is gearing up to be pretty busy.  There are people coming in right now who were delayed in getting the vaccine who wanted to get it and certainly we still have supply of the inject able," said Dr. Richard Mansfield.

We asked the experts what patients should take into consideration when choosing a shot versus the spray and we found out there are some differences. 

Children tend to prefer inhaling the spray over being stuck with a needle, but it's only available to kids who are at least two years old. The patient also can't have asthma or other disqualifying medical conditions. 

Both choices can leave a patient feeling unwell as they build their immunity, but unique to the spray is the risk of potentially infecting you with the very thing you are trying to keep from getting.

"The nasal spray you can get a mild case of the flu because it is a live virus," said Dr. Mansfield.

Doctors still say it would be better to risk catching the weaker version of the flu from a vaccine than to get the real thing.

"With any immunization you can feel a little achiness but it's nothing like what you would have with the actual flu.  With the actual flu, you would have a fever of 103, 104, 105, for a couple of days, significant nasal congestion, achiness, don't want to do anything, feel terrible, and it can take up to two weeks to get your energy back.  So when people say they get sick from the flu vaccine, a little achiness and a little fever is really not much when you consider how very sick the flu virus can make you," said Dr. Rian Anglin. 

"We highly recommend it for all of our patients," he continued. "Especially infants and those with chronic medical conditions like asthma.  It's very important for everyone to get their flu vaccine.  Even a normal healthy child can get very sick from the flu."

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