How Do Flu Vaccines Work
Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with circulating influenza viruses.
Seasonal flu vaccines are designed to protect against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. All flu vaccines in the United States are quadrivalent vaccines, which means they protect against four different flu viruses: an influenza A virus, an influenza A virus, and two influenza B viruses.
Is The Flu Vaccine Safe
Yes. Flu vaccines have been used for over 50 years and have been safely given to hundreds of millions of people, including pregnant people. Flu vaccines, like all vaccines used in the U.S., are carefully monitored for safety through the U.S. vaccine monitoring systems .
Find answers to more questions about vaccine safety.
If Flu Numbers Are Low Do You Really Need To Get The Shot
“You do. We didn’t have a lot of flu last year, so we didn’t build up any immunity from the flu last year. So experts are a little bit worried it could be worse for us, for that reason,” Azar stressed. She added that getting a flu vaccination cuts down on the amount of flu circulating in a community, which benefits everyone.
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Why Do You Have To Get The Flu Shot Every Year
Cant you just coast on last years vaccine a little longer? .
Every fall, you might start to notice signs in your pharmacy about getting the flu vaccine. You might be thinking, Already? Maybe I can skip it this year since I got it last year. This wishful thinking is tempting, but as of now, its still recommended to get the flu shot every year in order to have the best protection against the seasonal flu.
Different vaccines are effective for different amounts of time. There are some vaccines you only need once as a baby, while others need boosters as the years pass. The flu vaccine is not a one-and-done shotat least not yet.
If Older People Have Weaker Immune Responses To Flu Vaccination Should They Still Get Vaccinated
Despite the fact that some older adults have weaker immune responses to the influenza A component of flu vaccines, there are many reasons why people in this age group should be vaccinated each year.
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When Should I Get My Flu Shot
Though the exact timing of flu season varies year to year, infections generally start to ramp up around October. The best time to get your flu shot is in the early fall, ideally before the end of October.
“But if you miss that deadline, then get it as soon as you can afterward,” Dr. Moore says. “There’s no point at which it’s too late to get your influenza vaccine.”
The Flu Vaccine Is Safe
To ensure that the flu vaccine is safe, effective, and of high quality, the FDA prepares and provides reagents to manufacturers that they need to make their vaccine and to verify its identity and potency. The FDA also inspects manufacturing facilities regularly and evaluates each manufacturers vaccine annually before it can be approved.
The FDAs oversight doesnt end there. After manufacturers have distributed their vaccines for use by the public, the FDA and CDC work together to routinely evaluate reports of adverse events following vaccination submitted by vaccine manufacturers, health care providers and vaccine recipients to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System .
Additional efforts are in place to monitor vaccine safety. The FDA partners with private organizations that collect health care data and other federal agencies to further evaluate the safety and effectiveness of the influenza vaccines and other vaccines that the FDA has approved or authorized for emergency use.
The Biologics Effectiveness and Safety Initiative is one of the programs the FDA utilizes to assess vaccine safety and effectiveness in real-world conditions, reflecting patient care and the real-world use of the influenza vaccine and other vaccines in the U.S. In addition, the CDC maintains the Vaccine Safety Datalink program, which evaluates the vaccines safety similar to the BEST Initiative. VSD receives its data from nine integrated health care organizations in the U.S.
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What Are The Benefits Of Flu Vaccination
There are many reasons to get an influenza vaccine each year. Flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against flu and its potentially serious complications.
Below is a summary of the benefits of flu vaccination and selected scientific studies that support these benefits.
- Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.
- Flu vaccination prevents millions of illnesses and flu-related doctors visits each year. For example, during 2019-2020 flu vaccination prevented an estimated 7.5 million influenza illnesses, 3.7 million influenza-associated medical visits, 105,000 influenza-associated hospitalizations, and 6,300 influenza-associated deaths.
- During seasons when flu vaccine viruses are similar to circulating flu viruses, flu vaccine has been shown to reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor with flu by 40 percent to 60 percent.
- Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
- A 2021 studyexternal icon showed that among adults, flu vaccination was associated with a 26% lower risk of ICU admission and a 31% lower risk of death from flu compared to those who were unvaccinated.
- A 2018 study showed that from 2012 to 2015, flu vaccination among adults reduced the risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit with flu by 82 percent.
Expect To Book An Appointment To Get Your Flu Shot
If you’re used to walking up to your local pharmacy, hospital or clinic to get a flu shot whenever it’s most convenient to you, you may find this year that you have to schedule an appointment instead.
Signs in a local pharmacy instruct customers to make an appointment for both flu and COVID shots, and Walgreens’ chief medical officer, Kevin Ban, recommends scheduling COVID-19 and flu vaccinations online.
“We are doing as much as possible to make it easy for people to schedule their appointments and get seamlessly vaccinated,” Ban said, adding that you can also call Walgreens’ toll-free number to make an appointment.
Now’s the time to get ready for flu season.
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What Is The Super Flu Shot
TODAY’s Al Roker commented that since he is over 65, he received a high-dose version of the flu shot. The high-dose flu vaccines are intended to give people 65 and older better protection against the flu.
“The reason that we do that in older people is because when we get older we are not able to amount as robust an immune response,” Azar said.
Everyone 6 Months And Older Should Get The Flu Shot
The flu shot is your best defence against the flu. The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.
It can save lives by:
- protecting you, if you’re exposed to the virus
- preventing you from getting very sick
- protecting people close to you:
- because you’re less likely to spread the virus
- who are at higher risk of serious flu complications if they get the flu
The flu shot wont protect you against COVID-19.
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Why Do You Need An Annual Flu Shot
Unlike some other vaccines that have a longer protection period, flu shots are required every year to ensure proper protection. Your immune response and protection from vaccination will weaken over time, so a yearly vaccine for a common virus is the best choice to protect yourself. Plus, flu viruses change all the time, and vaccines are often updated to better protect against upcoming viruses. If you want the best protection for you and your family, then you should prioritize flu shots every year.
If you want to get a flu shot, you can head to your local flu shots clinic in Suwanee, GA. Visit the trusted team at Gwinnett Urgent Care to take care of your flu shots and answer any questions you have about the flu.
Getting A Flu Shot Every Year More May Not Be Better
If youve been diligent about getting your flu shot every year, you may not want to read this. But a growing body of evidence indicates that more may not always be better.
The evidence, which is confounding some researchers, suggests that getting flu shots repeatedly can gradually reduce the effectiveness of the vaccines under some circumstances.
That finding is worrying public health officials in the US, who have been urging everyone to get a flu shot each year and who still believe an annual vaccination is better than skipping the vaccines altogether.
Dr. Edward Belongia is among the scientists who have seen the picture coming into focus. He and some colleagues at Wisconsins reported recently that children who had been vaccinated annually over a number of years were more likely to contract the flu than kids who were only vaccinated in the season in which they were studied.
The vaccine was significantly more effective if they had not been vaccinated in the previous five years, Belongia, an epidemiologist, recounted in a recent interview with STAT.
Vaccines work by exposing the immune system to a part of a disease agent in the case of influenza, to two proteins on the exterior of the viruses that has been rendered harmless. The vaccines tell the immune system to be ready to mount an offensive if it encounters the specified invaders.
The immune system then produces stores of protective ammunition antibodies it can use to fight off infection.
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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.
When Should I Get Vaccinated
In the United States, flu season typically:
- Starts in October
- Peaks sometime between December and February
- Tapers off by April or, at the latest, May
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting vaccinated by the end of October. If you miss that date, though, don’t consider it too late. The worst of the season is still ahead, so it’s still worthwhile to get the shot in January or even later.
Because flu vaccines’ effectiveness starts to wane after about six months, it’s not a good idea to get it too early, such as in July or August. You want to make sure you’re protected through the winter months and into spring.
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The Flu Shot Isn’t That Effective Here’s Why You Should Still Get It
1 November 21
It decreases community transmission, among other things.
Health officials recommend that everyone 6 months and older, with a few exceptions, get a flu shot each year. Yet, the flu vaccine is far from foolproof, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention . If that’s the case, why should you get it?
On average, people who get the flu shot are between 40% and 60% less likely to catch the virus than unvaccinated individuals. So, although the flu shot may not prevent all cases of influenza, it helps protect you from severe infection and death and can help reduce the spread of the virus in communities. Each year from 2010 to 2020, between 12,000 and 52,000 people in the U.S. died of flu, and between 140,000 and 710,000 were hospitalized, according to the CDC. The CDC says that 80% of children who die from the flu are unvaccinated, though there isnt data on vaccination status of adults who die from the flu.
“Only about half of Americans get an annual flu vaccine,” Katherina Grusich, a spokesperson for the CDC, told Live Science. “Many more people could be protected from flu if more people got vaccinated.”
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Things Parents Should Know About Flu Shots
- By Claire McCarthy, MD, Senior Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publishing
Follow me on Twitter @drClaire
We started giving flu shots at our practice last week, and it made me not just happy, but relieved. I know how bad influenza can be and I always feel better when we can start preventing it.
Every year, influenza sickens millions, hospitalizes hundreds of thousands, and kills tens of thousands. This is not your average common cold. While it is especially dangerous for anyone who already has a health problem , it can be dangerous for healthy people, too.
Even if you dont get that sick from the flu, aside from missing school or work there is the very real problem that influenza is very contagious and you can be contagious before you realize that you have the flu. That means you can spread it to others, some of whom may get very sick. Getting immunized helps keep everyone safe: its not just about you, its about everyone around you. This is especially true for children, who arent always great about washing their hands and tend to touch lots of things and people around them.
Here are a few things all parents should know about the flu vaccine:
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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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On Sept. 7, the American Academy of Pediatrics released a statement saying that “all influenza immunization doses” should be completed by the end of October. Some children may require two doses of the flu vaccine, so parents should keep that in mind when planning.
“Children aged 6 months to 8 years who are receiving flu vaccine for the first time, who have had only one dose ever prior to July 1, 2021, or whose vaccination status is unknown should be vaccinated as soon as vaccines become available so that they can receive two doses four weeks apart by the end of October,” said the statement, which also noted that data does not support “delaying vaccination in children.”
Dr. Lauren Block, a primary care physician and researcher at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research, said that it’s important not to forget about the importance of flu shots during the pandemic.
“With COVID here and taking such a toll in terms of morbidity and mortality, we really have to do everything we can to protect ourselves,” Block said. “That includes getting COVID vaccines, but also, don’t forget about your annual flu vaccine.”
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More Ways You Can Help Protect Yourself Against The Flu
After you get your flu shot, continue to take steps to protect yourself and others from the flu and from COVID-19. That means frequent hand-washing, wearing a cloth mask and keeping a safe distance when youre in public spaces. Here are more ways you can help protect yourself and your community:
If youre feeling sick, stay home
Wash your hands throughout the day, especially after youve been in a public place or if you sneeze or cough
Avoid close contact with others and maintain a physical distance from others when youre in public spaces
Wear a cloth mask to cover your mouth and nose when youre around others. This helps protect others in case you may be infected
Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily, like doorknobs, tables, countertops, phones and more