Vaccination: When and Why Should You Get It

General Health

Vaccination: When and Why Should You Get It

There are different types of vaccines that help fight off various sicknesses at every life stage.


Vaccination is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of certain infectious diseases. It is a modern development in healthcare that is backed by medical experts and thorough scientific research. Immunization from illnesses such as polio, measles, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and influenza (commonly known as the flu), among others, can help families stay healthy and avoid unnecessary sickness and medical costs. Unlike other vaccinations, the flu vaccine is needed every year to protect people from the evolving nature of different viruses.

What is a flu vaccine?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), influenza or flu vaccines “cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination.” In turn, those antibodies give you protection against infections caused by the same viruses that were used in making that vaccine. Studies show that vaccinations not only help in individual immunity, but can also provide community protection if everyone gets their annual shots.  

Who should get flu shots?

There are different types of flu shots available for all age groups. Seek medical advice on which is appropriate for you or your children. The different types are:

  • Inactivated influenza vaccines (IIV) are suitable for children as young as six months
  • Recombinant influenza vaccines (RIV) are recommended for adults aged 18 and above
  • Adjuvanted and high-dose inactivated vaccines are for older adults aged 65 and above

Those with certain chronic health illnesses are advised to still get flu shots since they are at risk of getting flu-related complications. Flu vaccines are safe even for pregnant women and is one of the best options in protecting themselves and their babies. However, there are exemptions. Children under 6 months are too young and should not get the flu shot. People who have severe allergies to any ingredient in the vaccine are also not recommended to get the flu shot. It is important to know the ingredients of this vaccine to avoid a possible life-threatening situation.  

When should you get it?

The CDC recommends that everyone aged 6 months and above should get their flu vaccine every year. It is advised that your family’s vaccination records are updated yearly so you can avoid getting sick. You should set an appointment with your healthcare provider before the start of flu season, since it takes at least two weeks for the antibodies to develop in your body. You can also set up reminders on when you should visit your nearest clinic for your annual shots.  

General disclaimer
Always consult your doctor before taking any medicine. Your doctor will be in the best position to give the appropriate medical advice. For suspected undesirable drug reaction, seek medical attention immediately and report to the FDA at www.fda.gov.ph and UNILAB, Inc. at 8-UNILAB-1 or productsafety@unilab.com.ph. Always buy from your trusted drugstores and retailers.  

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