Flu Vaccine More Important Than Ever
CHKD Medical Group, Dr. Douglas MitchellMonday, September 21, 2020
By Dr. Douglas Mitchell, Norfolk Pediatrics
Every year, we encourage our families to make sure children who are 6 months and older receive their annual flu vaccination.
Its even more important this fall as COVID-19 continues to spread throughout our community. Autumn and winter always bring more respiratory viruses, and we want to do everything we can to reduce the possibility of a child having the flu and COVID-19 in the same season.
Any kind of virus can lower a childs immunity, which can reduce the ability to fight against another virus. This year, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends either the flu shot or the nasal spray flu vaccine.
Where Can I Get Free Flu Shots Near Me
Its best to get a flu shot before the end of October. It can still be beneficial to receive later in the season, but you have a higher chance of being exposed before the shot can become effective. In other words, dont wait too long! Check the list below, and go get one ASAP to avoid getting sick. You can also use Vaccine Finder to locate a pharmacy, healthcare provider, health department, or clinic offering the flu shot near you.
A Simple Guide To Getting A Flu Shot This Year
I was at the pharmacy with my dad and remembered that my mom said I needed to get the flu shot, as she had the week before. It was a really simple process the pharmacist took our information and a few minutes later we were signing papers to verify we knew what we were getting into, and bam: flu shots. Then we got $5 dollar gift cards, which were promptly spent on cat food. Its like getting a lollipop, except instead you get to feed your cats, who may or may not like what you serve them.
You might not think its flu season yet, but Id like to remind you that autumn is in full swing. Its also important to note that those of us with chronic illness, along with children and the elderly, are more susceptible to viral infections. Of course, if you are unsure of whether you can get a flu shot, be sure to check with your doctor . If you are a regular healthy person I would also recommend that you get ahead of things and get your vaccination as well.
These days it is much easier to find and get a flu shot, as you often dont even have to visit your doctor. Many pharmacists have gone through training to administer vaccinations. So I give you a list of convenient pharmacies to get your shot:
1. Visit a CVS pharmacy at a CVS store for your shot and receive a 20 percent off shopping pass. Minutes Clinics in the store can also provide shots for anyone including children.
3. Visit a Walgreens pharmacy for your shot and provide a vaccine for a child in need.
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Vaccine Uptake In Canadian Adults: Highlights From The 2020
The Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Coverage Survey collects information every year about the uptake of the flu shot in Canada. Each flu season, it estimates how many people get vaccinated as well as knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs about the flu shot. Every two years, the survey also collects information about other recommended vaccines for adults: pertussis , tetanus, pneumococcal and shingles. The 2020-2021 Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Coverage Survey took place between January 6 and February 11, 2021. With the current pandemic context, questions about the COVID-19 vaccine were also added to the survey this year.
Influenza Vaccination: A Summary For Clinicians
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza vaccine every season with rare exception. CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has made this recommendation since the 2010-2011 flu season.
Vaccination to prevent flu and its potentially serious complications is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. See People at Higher Risk of Developing Flu-Related Complications for a full list of age and health factors that confer increased risk.
More information is available at Who Needs a Flu Vaccine.
CDC recommends use of any licensed, age-appropriate influenza vaccine during the 2021-2022 influenza season. Available influenza vaccines include quadrivalent inactivated influenza vaccine , recombinant influenza vaccine , or live attenuated influenza vaccine . No preference is expressed for any influenza vaccine over another.
Quadrivalent flu vaccines include:
For the 2021-2022 flu season, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed, influenza vaccine that is appropriate for the recipients age and health status, including inactivated influenza vaccine , recombinant influenza vaccine , or live attenuated nasal spray influenza vaccine with no preference expressed for any one vaccine over another.
For more information visit Flu & Young Children.
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How To Get Vaccinated Against Influenza
Influenza vaccines are given as an injection, usually in the upper arm. It is important to get the right vaccine for your age. Your immunisation provider can tell you which vaccine they will use for you or your child’s influenza immunisation.
Influenza vaccines available under the NIP for the 2022 season include:
- VaxiGrip Tetra
The Therapeutic Goods Administration website provides product information and consumer medicine information for each vaccine available.
What’s The Best Way To Protect Yourself From The Flu
Its important to get the flu shot every year. The flu shot protects you against the flu virus.
It can help you prevent a hospitalization or complications of actually getting the flu.
It is very easy to find a local pharmacy or your providers office. Its offered in multiple, multiple locations.
Not only that, its also covered at 100% in most plans.
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Influenza Vaccine Coverage Among Adults
shows that, among Canadians aged 18 years and older , 34% reported receiving the 2015/16 influenza vaccine. The immunization coverage was 65% in adults aged 65 years or older, and 37% in adults aged 18 to 64 years with a CMC they were therefore below the national goal of 80% coverage set for these target groups .
In the 2012/13 influenza season, based on a survey of 2008 Canadian adults, the coverage rate in adults aged 65 years or older was 62%. In adults aged 18 to 64 years with a CMC, the coverage rate was 33% while in adults aged 18 to 64 years without a CMC the coverage rate was 19%.
When comparing results of the 2012/13 and the 2015/16 surveys, there appears to be an improvement in the uptake of the vaccine in adults aged 18 to 64 years without a CMC from 19% to 24%. However, the differences in coverage rates observed between the two surveys among seniors over the age of 65 and in adults with CMC are within the margin of error of the survey.
This means that we cannot conclude to an increase in influenza uptake among adults aged 65 years or older nor can we conclude to a decrease in coverage rate for adults aged 18 to 64 years with a CMC.
Strains Of The Flu Virus
Flu viruses change frequently, so the strains of the flu virus in the vaccine do as well.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , flu shot composition is decided each year with the help of over 144 influenza centers in over 114 countries.
Laboratories at each center collect influenza surveillance data throughout the year and send virus samples to the World Health Organization Collaborating Centers for Reference and Research on Influenza. The FDA makes the final determination on which strains to target in the U.S.
In the flu shot, the viruses are dead, so you cant get the flu from the vaccine. Live attenuated vaccines contain a weakened version of the virus, so theyre also safe.
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Mori Influenza Vaccination Programme
In 2020, the Ministry ran the Mori Influenza Vaccination Programme as part of the initial COVID-19 Mori Health Response Plan, and we saw an increased number of kaumtua who made the decision to be immunised against influenza. This funding enabled providers to implement clinically safe, culturally responsive and community-centric influenza vaccination approaches that achieve the greatest possible outreach across their Mori population. Services may include pop-up clinics, drive-through vaccine stations, door to door or other innovative services.
This year, were extending the programme to include influenza and measles immunisations. Our goal is to build on the successes of the 2020 programme, to increase immunisation among whnau Mori and address inequities between Mori and non-Mori rates of immunisation. This is being coordinated by providers and DHBs at a local level.
What Else Can We Do To Keep From Getting Viruses Like The Flu And Covid
The same advice works for the flu, COVID-19, and other viruses. Everyone should wash their hands frequently during the day with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Avoid contact with people who are sick. When you go out, wear a face covering, and stay at least six feet from other people. Avoid touching your face, nose, or mouth.
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Southern Hemisphere Influenza Season
The composition of virus vaccines for use in the 2018 Southern Hemisphere influenza season recommended by the World Health Organization on September 28, 2017, was:
- an A/Michigan/45/2015 pdm09-like virus
- an A/Singapore/INFIMH-16-0019/2016 -like virus
- a B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus
The WHO recommended that quadrivalent vaccines containing two influenza B viruses should contain the above three viruses and a B/Brisbane/60/2008-like virus.
Protect Yourself And Your Loved Onesget The Flu Shot
Vaccination is still the best way to protect against the flu, mainly for people with a chronic disease and for seniors aged 75 and over. These people have a much higher risk of complications, hospitalization or death related to the influenza virus.
Remember that simple hygiene measures, such as hand-washing, are a good way to protect yourself against the flu and other respiratory viruses.
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Does Cvs At Spokane Washington Offer Flu Shots
Flu shots are available at CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations, including CVS Pharmacy and MinuteClinic locations found in Target, every day, including evenings and weekends. Schedule your flu shot ahead of time so you can get in and out faster. Provide your insurance information and answer questions online ahead of time. Find more flu shot FAQs and other flu vaccination resources.
*FOR FLU SHOTS: Flu shots available when immunizing pharmacist or MinuteClinic health care provider is on duty. Age restrictions apply. Eligible patients will not pay any copayments unless otherwise required by their plan, including Medicare Part B. Back
*FOR FLU SHOT RECOMMENDATION: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Frequently asked influenza questions: 2020-2021 season. Updated July 28, 2020. Available at: . Accessed August 3, 2020. Back
Achilles’ Heels Of The Current Influenza Vaccines
The success of current influenza vaccination campaigns depends heavily on extensive surveillance and manufacturing resources to ensure timely vaccine delivery. Given that each component of the vaccine is updated every 2 to 3 years on average, it is not too surprising that there are occasional problems. Some of the Achilles’ heels of the current influenza vaccine pipelines and the strategies needed to address them are summarized as follows.
Variable efficacy in specific populations. Influenza vaccines are relatively poorly immunogenic and do not induce long-lasting serum antibody titers. In the elderly, waning immunity also means poor responsiveness to vaccines. Therefore, strategies are required to improve the immune response to vaccine, especially in various at-risk target populations.
Variable virus. Antigenic matching between vaccine strains and circulating strains is critical. Current strategies to address this include improvement of global surveillance and the development of new-generation vaccines that target conserved regions of the virus.
Limited vaccine availability in resource-limited countries. Although not specific for influenza vaccines, there is great disparity in vaccine availability in countries throughout the world. More scalable platforms and cheaper vaccines that induce longer-lasting immunity are needed to address this need.
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Influenza In New Zealand
Influenza can be a serious illness and poses a significant public health issue in New Zealand. Immunisation provides the best protection against flu, and demand for the vaccine in New Zealand is increasing.
Some people are at greater risk of becoming seriously ill if they catch flu, including people aged 65 and over, with chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and serious asthma pregnant women, and young children with a history of serious respiratory illnesses. For these groups of people, the vaccination is free of charge through primary care providers and community pharmacy.
For further information on this diseases symptoms and treatments go to Influenza.
What The Flu Vaccine Does
The goal of an influenza vaccine is to expose your immune system to viral proteins. This may sound like exactly what you are hoping to avoid, but these proteins serve as antigenssubstances your immune system will form defensive antibodies to combat.
When you are next exposed to an influenza virus , your body will be ready to make antibodies that will prevent you from being infected yourself. The antibodies latch onto the virus and inactivate it.
There are a few different flu vaccination options. While formulated differently, they all work to achieve this result. And despite being derived from the influenza virus itself, they do this without making you sick:
Flu vaccines cannot give a healthy person the flu rather they help the body produce an immune response without contracting an infection.
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Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Influenza
Yearly influenza vaccination is recommended for people aged 6 months and over. Anyone who wants to protect themselves against influenza can talk to their immunisation provider about getting vaccinated.
The Australian Immunisation Handbook includes more information about specific groups who should get vaccinated against influenza.
The following people are more at risk of complications from influenza and are eligible for annual influenza vaccination free under the National Immunisation Program:
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged 6 months and over
- Children aged 6 months to under 5 years
- Pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- People aged 65 years or over.
- People aged 6 months or over who have medical conditions that mean they have a higher risk of getting serious disease:
- cardiac disease
- haematological disorders
- children aged six months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.
Children under nine years receiving their influenza vaccination for the first time require two doses of vaccine, spaced by a minimum of one month.
In some states and territories, influenza vaccines may also be provided for free to other people not listed above. Speak to your immunisation provider or contact your state or territory Department of Health to find out.
People who are not eligible for a free vaccine can purchase the vaccine from their immunisation provider.
Will I Be Safe From Covid
All CVS Pharmacy locations, including those at Target stores, are following CDC Covid-19 prevention guidelines. You will complete a Covid-19 questionnaire via text, all staff and customers must wear masks, and all immunization areas are sanitized between patients. Someone will take your temperature when you first arrive.
If there is no Target store near you, flu shots are available at Costco, Walgreens, and Walmart, too.
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Who Should And Who Should Not Get A Flu Vaccine
Everyone 6 months of age and older should get an influenza vaccine every season, with rare exceptions. For the 2021-2022 flu season, three main types of influenza vaccines will be available. Two kindsthe inactivated influenza vaccines and the recombinant influenza vaccine are injectable . The third type, the live attenuated influenza vaccine , is given by nasal spray. Different influenza vaccines are approved for different age groups. Some people should not get some types of influenza vaccines, and some people should not receive influenza vaccines at all . Everyone who is vaccinated should receive a vaccine that is appropriate for their age and health status. There is no preference for any one vaccine over another.
This page includes information on who should and who should not get an influenza vaccine, and who should talk to a health care professional before vaccination. Talk to your health care provider if you have any questions regarding which influenza vaccines are best for you and your family.
All persons aged 6 months of age and older are recommended for annual flu vaccination, with rare exception.
Vaccination is particularly important for people who are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications.
People who can get the flu shot:
Flu shots are appropriate for most people.
People who SHOULD NOT get a flu shot include:
People who SHOULD NOT get a nasal spray vaccine:
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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