Children Less Than 9 Years Old
Children less than 9 years old getting the flu vaccine for the first time must receive 2 doses of vaccine. The second dose must be given a month after the first. Parents must therefore plan 2 appointments to get their child a flu vaccination.
Indeed, as most vaccines given in childhood, the first injection of the flu vaccine must be followed by a booster dose. The first dose of the vaccine allows the childs immune system to, in a way, get acquainted with the virus and to fight it, but for only a few weeks. The second dose allows the childs immune system to produce more antibodies to fight the virus on a longer term.
It is therefore important that children less than 9 years old getting the flu vaccine for the first time receive the 2 doses of vaccine. The second dose will allow them to be best protected during the entire flu season.
Only children less than 9 years old who have already received the flu vaccine need to receive a single dose of it.
Children from 6 to 23 months old and those who have certain chronic diseases can get vaccinated free of charge under the Flu Vaccination Program.
Will We Need An Annual Covid Booster Shot
With vaccines appearing to offer waning protection and the continuing evolution of variants, Hoge said we will most likely need seasonal COVID boosters, much like we do with the flu, at least to protect those at high risk of infection.
The CDC updated its guidance to indicate that, starting in 2022, some immunocompromised people will be able to get a fourth COVID-19 booster shot. Israel, Germany and other nations are researching the efficacy of a fourth shot and Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to the president, said a fourth jab was “conceivable” in the US, too.
The Flu Shot Is Effective
The effectiveness of the vaccine varies from season to season. It depends on:
- how well the vaccine matches with the circulating flu viruses
- the health and age of the person getting the flu shot
The viruses circulating in the population can sometimes change during the time it takes to produce a vaccine. When this happens during the flu season, the flu shot may not work as well as expected.
It’s also important to remember that the flu shot protects against several different flu viruses each season. The seasonal flu shot can still provide protection against the remaining 2 or 3 viruses, even when theres:
- a less-than-ideal match
- lower effectiveness against one virus
If you do get the flu, the flu shot may reduce the severity of flu-related complications.
Getting your flu shot is still the most effective way to protect yourself against the flu and flu-related complications.
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Which Flu Vaccine Is The Most Effective
When flu vaccines are being produced, the strains included are standardized by the FDA. Each 2021-2022 vaccine includes:
Two type B viruses
This means that no matter what vaccine you choose, youre being protected against the same strains. Flu vaccines are typically between 40% and 60% effective from year to year. But when it comes to picking the right flu vaccine for you, you have to take other factors into account.
How Do The Vaccines Work
A flu shot is the best way to protect kids from the flu and problems that come along with it. There are two types of vaccines: one is given as a shot and the other as a spray that your child breathes in. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages 6 months and older should get the flu shot, and that the nasal spray vaccine should only be used as a last resort. The AAP has questioned the spray’s effectiveness.
The vaccine your child gets in a shot is made from dead influenza virus, whereas the spray is made from a live strain. Neither cause the flu. When your childâs immune system comes in contact with the vaccine, it creates special tools called antibodies that help it fight the virus. If they get infected with the real flu later, their body will be ready to defend itself. If all goes well, their system will fight off the virus and future flus may not be as severe or last as long.
Flu shots for children donât protect against all viruses. Your child can still get colds and infections from other viruses or other strains of the flu virus.
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Annual Selection Of Viruses
The composition of influenza vaccines are updated annually by WHO based on information gathered from the Global Influenza Surveillance and Response System , a partnership of 141 national influenza centres in 111 countries, 6 WHO collaborating centres and 4 WHO essential regulatory laboratories.
The WHO GISRS collects and analyses influenza virus samples from around the world on an ongoing basis. Each year, 1 or more components of the vaccine designated for the coming influenza season in the northern and/or southern hemisphere might be changed to reflect the most frequent and recent circulating influenza A and B viruses.
Where Can I Get Vaccinated Against The Flu
People eligible for a free flu vaccineEligible people can get a free vaccination from their family doctor/general practice. It is usually the practice nurse who gives the vaccine. Many community pharmacies provide free flu vaccinations to people aged 13 years and older and pregnant women . People who are not eligible to receive a free flu vaccineThe flu vaccination is available from:
- your family doctor/general practice
Please contact your healthcare provider about the cost of getting the flu vaccine.
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Myth #: You Don’t Need To Get The Flu Vaccine Every Year
There are two reasons why doctors recommend that people get the flu vaccine every year, Cunningham said.
For one, the strains of the flu virus that are circulating change from year to year. “It’s like the common cold there’s more than one type of virus that causes the flu,” and, in fact, there are hundreds of flu viruses, he said.
Each year, health officials identify the virus strains that are the most likely to cause illness during the upcoming flu season, according to the CDC.
Second, the immunity you develop after getting the shot wanes by the following year. “If you get your shot in August, you’ll be safe through March, but those antibodies won’t be for the next flu season,” Cunningham said.
If Im Fit And Healthy Do I Need To Have The Flu Vaccine
Although people with medical conditions, like asthma and diabetes, are most at risk of complications from the flu, healthy adults, children and infants can still become seriously ill and even die from the flu. Also, healthy people can spread the flu to others around them. So it is recommended that even healthy people get the flu vaccine.
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Do Flu Shots For Babies And Toddlers Contain Mercury
Ask for a shot from a single-dose, mercury-free vial. Multi-dose vials contain a mercury-based preservative to kill bacteria introduced by repeated needle penetrations into the vial. With a single dose vial, mercury isnt necessary.
Pregnant women should also receive the flu shot . The shot does not contain live viruses, so its safe for the fetus inside.
It can be hard watching your little one get pricked by a needle. Once your child is over 2 years old, you can choose to give the vaccine as an injection or as a nasal spray.
Can My Child Get The Flu Vaccine At The Same Time As Another Childhood Vaccine Including The Covid
Yes. It is safe to get the seasonal flu vaccine at the same time as any childhood vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Many children are behind with their childhood vaccines or boosters because of the COVID-19 pandemic and getting the vaccines at the same time can help them catch up more quickly.
For children 5 to 11 years old, it may be best to wait at least 14 days between the COVID-19 and other vaccines. The reason for this is that if any side effects happen, doctors will know which vaccine they are related to. But only space out vaccines if you are sure that no other vaccines your child needs will be given late.
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How The Flu Vaccine Works
Development of the seasonal flu vaccine actually begins many months ahead of flu season. The viruses used in the vaccine are based on extensive research and surveillance into which strains will be most common during the upcoming season.
The trivalent vaccine protects against three flu viruses: two influenza A viruses and an influenza B virus.
The quadrivalent vaccine protects against the same three viruses as the trivalent vaccine, but it also includes an additional influenza B virus.
The Best Flu Vaccine For People Over 65
As we get older, our immune systems have a harder time responding to illnesses and vaccines. To help provide better protection, there are a few recommended options for older adults this year:
Fluzone High-Dose Quadrivalent also known as the high-dose flu shot
If one of these three vaccines isnt available, you should still get vaccinated with another flu vaccine thats FDA-approved for your age range. All flu vaccines are effective against the flu. Its better to be vaccinated than to try to wait for a particular flu vaccine to become available.
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Ask Well: Answers To Your Health Questions
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Do you have a question for our health and science editors? Submit it here.
Some Children Are At Higher Risk
Children at greatest risk of serious flu-related complications include the following:
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Flu Shot Timing: What’s Optimal
Aug. 30, 2021 — Amid fresh national recommendations for COVID booster shots to ramp up waning immunity, new research examining the durability of flu vaccination indicates significantly dwindling protection just months after inoculation.
Maximum influenza vaccine efficacy in adults occurred shortly after vaccination, followed by an average decline of 8% to 9% each month and an even swifter drop among older adults.
Even a 1- or 2-month delay in annual flu vaccination could improve vaccine effectiveness by 10% to 20%, according to the study, published August 15 in Clinical Infectious Diseases.
Analyzing vaccine timing relative to influenza-associated hospitalizations among more than 5500 adults, the findings are broadly consistent with both early and more recent studies, says study author Jill Ferdinands, PhD, an epidemiologist in the Influenza Division of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC.
“These findings are not surprising,” Ferdinands tells Medscape Medical News. “In the very first successful trial of inactivated influenza vaccine in 1943, the study’s authors observed that antibodies to influenza declined by about one third within 4 to 5 months after vaccination.”
But “a better understanding of waning immunity, like the information gained by this study, could help further optimize the recommendation,” she says.
He says the COVID pandemic might prove to “actually be a shot in the arm for influenza vaccine research.”
Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine
Children 2-17 years of age who are eligible for an influenza vaccine can receive FluMist® Quadrivalent by nasal spray.
The nasal spray vaccine will be available at health units, some pharmacies and some doctors’ offices. Pharmacists will be able to give the nasal spray flu vaccine to children 2 years of age and older. The Influenza Clinic locator will list if a nasal spray vaccine is available at that clinic. Call ahead to confirm. The nasal spray vaccine is not approved for use in those younger than 2 years of age and they should receive their influenza vaccine by needle.
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What Is The Nasal Flu Vaccine
This type of flu vaccine is given as a nose spray instead of injection. Healthy children over the age of 2 can get the nasal flu vaccine. If your child has a chronic condition or illness, you should speak to your doctor to find out if the nasal flu vaccine is appropriate. The vaccine is given in 1 or 2 doses. Each dose is one squirt into each nostril.
- If your child is under 9 years of age and has received any flu vaccine before, they will only need 1 dose.
- If your child is under 9 years of age and hasnt received a flu vaccine before, they will need 2 doses, given at least 4 weeks apart.
This type of flu vaccine is not covered by all provincial or territorial health plans, which means you may have to pay for it.
Can I Get The Flu From The Flu Vaccine
No. The virus thats in the flu vaccine is either dead or for FluMist Quadrivalent extremely weak. Because of this, flu vaccines are unable to cause the flu. However, some people experience flu-like symptoms in the days that follow their vaccine. These are side effects of the flu vaccine, and its a sign your immune system is learning how to fight the flu virus.
After your flu vaccine, you may experience:
A sore, red, or swollen arm
Remember, these are expected side effects and dont mean youre getting sick with the flu. They should go away within a few days.
Unfortunately, its still possible to get sick with the flu after youve received your flu vaccine. It takes about 2 weeks after your vaccine for your immune system to protect you fully. So its possible to catch the flu during that time. And as mentioned earlier, flu vaccine effectiveness isnt perfect. Its also possible to get sick with a strain that wasnt included in the vaccine.
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Types Of Seasonal Influenza Vaccine
Two types of influenza vaccine are widely available: inactivated influenza vaccines and live attenuated influenza vaccines . Traditionally, influenza vaccines have been produced to protect against 3 different seasonal influenza viruses . In most countries this is still the case and the current trivalent vaccines contain influenza A, pandemic A and 1 of 2 influenza B lineage viruses. However, recently vaccines which protect against 4 different viruses, including both influenza B lineage viruses , have become available in some countries.
Regardless of the type or composition of seasonal influenza vaccine, vaccination should be administered annually to provide optimal protection against infection.
Type Of Vaccine For Children
Children will get a nasal spray vaccine. It’s called the Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine nasal spray vaccine. It’s known by the brand name Fluenz Tetra and manufactured by AstraZeneca AB.
This flu vaccine is approved for children aged 2 to 17 years.
If your child has been told they cannot have the nasal flu vaccine, talk to your GP or pharmacist about them getting the vaccine as an injection.
If your child is under 2 years and at risk of complications from flu, they can get a different type of flu vaccine by injection instead of the nasal spray.
Most children only need 1 dose of the vaccine each season. Some children aged 2 to 8 years with chronic health conditions may need 2 doses if they have never had the flu vaccine before. Your GP or pharmacist will know if they need 2 doses. The doses are given 4 weeks apart.
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