Why do adults need flu shots?

I started having the flu shot for the past 2 years. Before that, I never got the shot, nor felt like I needed it, since I've always thought that it is good for the body to have a flu... as in it teaches our body to fight the virus.. is this idea wrong?

I always thought that we need to teach our bodies from when we're young to all sorts of viruses.. Similarly on how we need to teach too on how to eat all kind of things from when young, so that you don't grow up having allergies, etc.

I have no allergies, no other problems. I asked the nurse why do we need them, and she said, it's only for prevention because we don't know what strain of the flu virus you can get, as in the virus is getting stronger all the time.. but isn't it an even better reason why we should allow it to happen if it does?

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  • 4 years ago
    Best Answer

    The idea that having a viral infection strengthens the immune system in adults is not correct. This is true for young children (because their immune system is still developing), but not adults. In older children and adults, most viral infections temporarily weaken the immune system for several weeks or more after the infection is gone. This makes it much easier to get additional infections while recovering from the flu.

    There's two main reasons for adults to get flu shots:

    * The immune system begins to weaken past the age of 50 -60 yrs old. The flu can cause much more serious symptoms when a person has lower immunity.

    * At a population level. vaccines reduce the spread of viruses, and with fewer infections, viruses have less opportunity to mutate into more dangerous strains..

    There is still no effective treatment for killing flu viruses, so prevention is the only weapon.

  • 4 years ago

    Getting the flu "naturally" provides no benefits over getting the vaccine. You are building up the exact same antibodies either way. And when you catch the flu naturally, you run the risk of serious complications (or even death) and you also risk spreading it to people with poor immune systems who can't fight off the virus like a healthy adult. You don't have those risks when getting the flu shot.

    Source(s): Pharmacy student
  • 4 years ago

    "as in it teaches our body to fight the virus.. is this idea wrong?"

    "but isn't it an even better reason why we should allow it to happen if it does?"

    The flu virus is actually a new virus each year which is why we need a new flu vaccine each year. If it were the same virus that did not change over time then yes the body would learn to fight that particular virus. The flu virus can kill people and so some bodies never learn how to fight it.

    That strategy of survival of the fittest was the rule many centuries ago and it nearly wiped out humanity with plagues until we started learning for ourselves on what the body does to fight infections (vaccines) and how our environment fights microorganisms (antibiotics).

  • Jan
    Lv 6
    4 years ago

    I completely agree with you. Flu shots have poor rates, meaning vaccinated people still get the flu, so it's all overrated... BUT, the pharma sector earns big $$$ with it, so they'll keep on pushing it down everybody's throat. A big hype and marketing.

    Some adults take the shots (e.g. shop owners) because if they get sick, they lose money, or they don't want to get sick and pass it on to their kids... but like I said, the effectiveness of the shots is debatable.

    I've never gotten a flu shot and I'm not likely going to get one until flu actually becomes a danger to my health (when I'm 80 or so)

    • Jeff
      Lv 4
      4 years agoReport

      You are 100% correct. Flu shots are big money.

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  • Tavy
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    The flu virus changes every year so you cannot build up an immunity against it.

    Some people can get pneumonia with it, and many other problems.

  • Possum
    Lv 7
    4 years ago

    Yes, that's wrong. The flu can kill you. It's good for the body to be exposed to certain bacteria to build up resistance, but not to all bacteria, and not to most viruses.

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