California Center of Longevity Medicine
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Los Angeles Longevity & Functional Medicine Doctor

Dr. Allan Kurtz

Board Certified Internal Medicine
Fellowship in Functional Medicine

Heart Attack and Stroke
Prevention Center of Southern California

Health Tips Blog

Getting the Flu Shot: Can it be Dangerous?

By: California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine on October 10, 2015

So here's the dilemma that many people in the San Fernando Valley and throughout Southern California face every winter: to get or not to get the flu shot.

Let's weigh out our options and you can be the judge.

Who should get the flu shot?
According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), everyone over the age of 6 months should be getting the flu vaccine every season. There are certain individuals who are at a higher risk for flu-related complications, including:
  • Children 5 and under
  • Adults over the age of 65
  • Pregnant women
  • People with medical conditions such as heart disease, asthma, liver disorders, metabolic disorders and blood disorders
The Pros:
  • The flu shot offers protection for people at high risk of developing serious complications from influenza, like those with serious medical conditions, the very young and the elderly. Getting the flu can make chronic health problems much.
  • The flu vaccine can protect against 3-4 of the most common viruses.
The Cons:
  • Soreness, swelling or redness at the injection site (usually in the arm or thigh for young children)
  • Low grade fever
  • Aches
  • Slight itching or toughness at injection site
  • Rare allergic reactions – Serious allergic reactions can include breathing problems, hives, dizziness and rapid heartbeat.
Although getting the flu shot isn't necessarily dangerous, its important to know that there are side effects that shouldn't be ignored. If you think you are having a serious reaction to the flu shot, contact your doctor/health provider immediately.

What can I do?
Prevention is the key. Functional medicine focuses on keeping our bodies healthy, building a strong immune system, so that the body can fight off seasonal flu and cold before illness occurs.

If you're interested in creating an optimal health and longevity game plan to prepare for the upcoming flu season, Dr. Kurtz at the California Center of Longevity & Functional Medicine in Woodland Hills, can help you get started. Fellowship trained in both Integrative and Functional Medicine, Dr. Kurtz is a member of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and The Institute for Functional Medicine. To schedule a consultation, please contact us at 818-346-1440