Harvard Men's Health Watch

Flu shot: Good insurance, not a guarantee

Not everyone will be protected by the flu shot, but it's still a good idea for men at risk of complications from influenza.

Soon it will be the season of the common cold, bringing stuffy heads, runny noses, fuzzy thinking, and fatigue. The flu, in contrast, is a more serious health issue for men, especially those with heart or lung disease or a condition
that weakens the body's immune defenses. For these individuals, a bad bout with influenza can end in hospitalization or worse.

Although not everyone who gets a flu shot will be protected from catching the virus, you should still be vaccinated because it lowers the risk of complications, says Dr. Jatin Dave, a geriatrician at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital. "Those who get a flu shot are less likely to get hospitalized or to need more intensive care."

To continue reading this article, you must login.
  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »