Reviewed by Hansa Bhargava on October 02, 2015

Sources

Kevin J. Rodbell, MD

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Video Transcript

[MUSIC PLAYING] KEVIN RODBELL: Every year the flu is different, and every year the vaccine has to be tailored to that moving target of the flu. Because the flu is so pervasive when it goes around and it can be so dangerous, this vaccine, although it gets a bad rep, saves lives. A person can either get a flu shot as an injectable vaccine, or the vaccine can be delivered directly into the nose. It's a small droplet of about 0.2 milliliters.

The youngest of the young, who are potentially at the highest risk, are not able to get the flu shot.

It's only approved for children aged six months and up. Those babies rely on everyone else getting the flu shot. Now, there's an interesting circumstance that we can talk about. Moms who are breastfeeding who get the flu shot transmit the antibodies to their babies. That means that when a mother gets a flu shot, she's protecting her infant. In fact, even a pregnant mother who gets the flu shot transfers the antibodies that she generates to her unborn baby. So when the baby comes into the world, boom. Already has a leg up.

I would call the flu vaccine one of the greatest life-- and quality of life-- saving measures that have come around in the 20th century. The best way to treat the flu is to prevent it. Get yourself vaccinated. Get your kids vaccinated.

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