I'm sure you have already heard that the flu is in full swing- attacking the immune system and knocking people down for about a week. That is not how you want to spend Mardi Gras.

Many people wait to get a flu shot because they are skeptical when it comes to vaccinations and certain medications. If you are indecisive, learn about the pros and cons.

Don't let your imagination get the best of you. Former air staff member and frequent contributor to 97.3 The Dawg's website, Jill McCoy,  told us this tale.

I don't want to get any vaccination and turn into a zombie, start walking backwards, or anything weird and crazy like that. I literally sat in the pharmacy parking lot and Google'd the flu shot's pros and cons before I made my final decision.

Jill went on to say that thanks to Woman'sDay and WebMD  she was better able to make a decision. If you have not gotten your flu shot yet and are still wondering if it's the best choice, maybe this information can help you make an informed decision. .


  1. Getting the flu shot cuts your risk of coming down with the flu by 70 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
  2. People who are 50 years and older, pregnant, nursing, and/or young children should definitely consider being vaccinated. If you have a child six months or younger, it is especially important to get the vaccination because your child is too young to be vaccinated.
  3. The H1N1 virus, also known as swine flu, seems to affect young adults and children.
  4. Getting the flu shot will not give you the flu virus. It contains dead viruses, so there is no way of catching the actual sickness. If you were exposed to the flu right before getting the shot, you may blame the shot for being sick.
  5. If you get vaccinated early enough, you should be protected the entire flu season. The actual flu season lasts til March!
  1. There's about a 20 percent chance that you could still come down with the flu after getting the vaccination. This is because we do not know exactly how many different flu strands are floating around.
  2. This year it seems we might need to get two, separate shots:  seasonal flu and H1N1.
  3. A couple hours after getting the shot your arm may be sore for up to a couple days.
  4. You may feel a little funny a couple hours after receiving the shot. Since you are being given a dead strand of the virus, a low-grade fever or tiredness may occur.
  5. There is a tiny, slight chance that the flu vaccination can increase your chances of Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disease causing muscle weakness, sometimes paralysis, and even death (in rare cases, of course).

If you think about it, every vaccination and/or medication has it's side effects. We are always warned before taking anything, even something as simple as Advil. If you're wondering Jill  went through with it and got her flu shot. If you still opt to skip the shot, please remember to always wash your hands and stay home from work or school if you feel the slightest bit sick.


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