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Are Flu Shots Worth It

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Is Getting The Flu Shot Actually Worth It

Is it worth getting the flu shot?

Physicians are urging people to get the flu vaccine, after a record 79,000 people in our country died from the flu last year.

Last years flu was particularly strong.

Around 50 million people got sick, and a million people were hospitalized.

The CDC says fewer than 40 percent of adults got the vaccination in 2017 and some physicians are worried this could be the new norm.

Caroline Wilker, a Mayo Clinic physician and the chair of Clinical Quality Oversight for South West Wisconsin, said, Hopefully its not a trend.

Wilker said its troubling how few people are getting vaccinated.

Even in the setting of a mild year for influenza, millions of people come down with influenza. It causes missed work, causes hospitalizations, it causes deaths, Wilker said.

She thinks a lot of people didnt want to be vaccinated last year because they heard the flu shot wasnt very effective.

We try very hard every year to match the vaccines strains with the strain of influenza we think will be circulating in the flu season. Last year the match was particularly poor, Wilker said.

But Wilker said any flu shot is better than going without.

What we found out this year with research was that even getting a vaccine with a partial match prevents you from getting as sick. Even getting the influenza vaccine if its a poor match year is still worthwhile, Wilker said.

Wilker said there are a lot of myths out there confusing people about the vaccination.

When Is The Best Time Of Year To Get A Flu Shot

You should get the flu shot each year at least 2 weeks before the flu virus starts spreading in your community. In the Northern Hemisphere , the flu shot typically becomes available around September of each year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting the flu vaccine no earlier than September and no later than the end of October. Basically, you want to time it just right so that you are fully vaccinated when the flu virus starts to circulate, but not too early that your immunity runs out before the end of the flu season .

Too Late For The Flu Vaccine

Flu viruses usually cause the most illness during the colder months of the year. In the United States, flu season is from October to May. Most cases happen from late December to early March.

It’s best to get the flu vaccine early in flu season, ideally by the end of October. That way, the body has time to make antibodies that protect it from the flu.

What if you aren’t vaccinated by then? Getting the vaccine later is better than not getting it at all. It’s still flu season well into spring. Even then it’s not too late for you and your family to get the flu vaccine. Many health care providers give flu vaccines through May if the flu virus is still circulating.

Getting a missed flu vaccine late in the season is especially important for people who travel. That’s because the flu can be active around the globe from April to September.

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Is The Flu Jab Safe

NHS England states that the flu vaccination is a safe and effective method that protects you against strains of the flu virus that circulate each year.3

Hence why its advised that you receive one annually.

The vaccine cannot give you the flu. It also cannot protect you from COVID-19 or seasonal coughs and colds.

Why Do I Need A Flu Vaccine Every Year

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  • A flu vaccine is needed every season for two reasons. First, a persons immune protection from vaccination declines over time, so an annual vaccine is needed for optimal protection. Second, because flu viruses are constantly changing, flu vaccines may be updated from one season to the next to protect against the viruses that research suggests may be most common during the upcoming flu season. For the best protection, everyone 6 months and older should get vaccinated annually.

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A Trend With Staying Power

Niccoli’s pharmacy has administered about 2,000 flu shots, up from about 1,200 the year before, he said.

Getting a vaccine now can also help protect you against next year’s strain of the flu, Grindrod said.

She hopes the high level of vaccine uptake during the pandemic is a trend that continues in the years to come.

“Get the flu shot, if you can, for sure, and then get it forevermore,” she said.

How Flu Vaccine Virus Strains Are Selected

Every year, in late February or early March, before that years flu season ends, the FDA, the World Health Organization , the CDC, and other public health experts collaborate on collecting and reviewing data from around the world to identify the flu viruses likely to cause the most illnesses during the next flu season.

Following that process, the FDA convenes its vaccines advisory committee, consisting of outside experts, to discuss the WHO recommendations and to consider which flu viruses are expected to circulate in the U.S. The committee also reviews data about which flu viruses have caused illnesses in the past year, how the viruses are changing, and disease trends for the U.S. The FDA takes that information into account before it selects the virus strains for FDA-licensed manufacturers to include in their vaccines for use in the U.S.

The closer the match between the virus strains chosen for the vaccine and the circulating strains causing disease during flu season, the better the protection that the flu vaccine provides. Although the vaccine and viruses may not be an exact match in some years, that does not mean the vaccine is not benefiting people. Available data show that the vaccine can reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.

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I Still Got The Flu After The Flu Vaccine Why Should I Get The Flu Vaccine This Year

Although the flu vaccine wont prevent every case of the flu, getting an annual vaccination is the best way to reduce your risk of serious illness. Getting the flu vaccine may make illness milder. A 2017 study in Clinical Infectious Diseases showed that influenza vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized influenza patients.

A flu shot cannot cause flu illness. If you get flu-like symptoms after receiving the flu vaccine, there may be a few reasons why you have a low grade fever, and headache, including that they may be mild side-effects of the vaccine. If you get diagnosed with the flu shortly after receiving the flu vaccine, you may have been exposed to the flu virus beforehand, as it takes approximately two weeks for the vaccine to work.

When Is It Too Late To Get A Flu Shot

VERIFY: Is the flu shot really worth getting?

While you usually want to get a flu shot well before flu season gets started, that isn’t always possible. With flu shot delays or shortages, your child might not always be able to get a flu shotwhen you want.

So when is it too late to get vaccinated against the flu?

The CDC recommends getting vaccinated early, but they also say, “Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later.”

So it is really never too late to get a flu vaccine.

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Q2 Are You A Healthcare Worker Have Young Children Or Work With Children

Health and social care workers can get the flu jab to help protect them, their patients, colleagues and families.

Anyone working with, or who has, young children is also advised to have the jab, as young children typically get between seven and 10 colds a year.

Healthy children aged two and year 5 in school will automatically be offered the flu vaccine as a nasal spray as part of the childhood vaccination programme.

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Doe The Flu Shot Affect Pregnancy

Flu shots are safe and highly recommended during pregnancy to protect both the parent and the baby.

People can safely receive a shot at any time during pregnancy.

During pregnancy, a person is more likely to have serious flu complications due to a higher strain on their heart, lungs, and immune system.

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Latest Cold And Flu News

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 28, 2016 — The flu can be a serious threat to your health, but you can protect yourself by getting a flu shot, health experts say.

“The flu shot can reduce the risk of hospitalization and severe disease due to the influenza virus in addition to reducing the incidence or severity,” said Kevin Harrod. He’s a professor in the department of anesthesiology and perioperative medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The flu vaccine is especially beneficial to children, the elderly, people with underlying chronic disease, such as heart disease, and women during and after pregnancy, he added.

About 970,000 Americans were hospitalized due to the flu in 2014, and more than 40 million were affected by flu-related illnesses, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

During recent flu seasons, up to 90 percent of flu-related deaths have occurred in people 65 and older.

This year’s vaccine protects against flu viruses that experts predict will be most common. Those include two influenza A viruses and select influenza B viruses, Harrod said.

“While getting the flu shot may not keep you from getting the flu, it will limit the severity and duration of the illness, and provide you with some protection against future infections in subsequent seasons,” Harrod said in a university news release.

— Robert Preidt

Is A Flu Shot Worth It Yes More Than Ever This Year Respiratory Medicine Specialist Says

A flu shot

HONG KONG Everyone is sick of 2020, and millions are sick in 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has been raging worldwide for almost nine months and we’re all suffering from pandemic fatigue. But, just as with regular influenza or any kind of illness, if we lower our defences, infection will come barrelling in.

Seasonal flu will erode immunity and predispose thousands more to coronavirus.

HONG KONG Everyone is sick of 2020, and millions are sick in 2020. The coronavirus pandemic has been raging worldwide for almost nine months and we’re all suffering from pandemic fatigue. But, just as with regular influenza or any kind of illness, if we lower our defences, infection will come barrelling in.

As exhausted as we all are with this, as bored as we are of home-working and home-schooling and the death of a social life, as raw as our hands may be from endless sanitising, now is absolutely not the time to drop our defences. Indeed, we need to shore them up further, not just to keep Covid-19 out, but the common flu, too.

Seasonal flu is especially dangerous for the same groups that are worse affected by coronavirus: the elderly, those with underlying medical conditions and especially people with respiratory illnesses such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or asthma.

Governments worldwide are fretting about the coming season for exactly this reason: that seasonal flu will erode immunity and predispose thousands more to coronavirus.

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Should I Get The Flu Vaccine If I’m Pregnant Or Breastfeeding

  • Years of studies and observation show that you can safely get a flu shot at any time, during any trimester, while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Babies cannot get the vaccine until six months old. Because antibodies from the vaccine pass onto a fetus in the womb and through breast milk, you protect your baby even more by getting vaccinated.

  • Pregnant people should not get the nasal spray form of the flu vaccine. Those with a life-threatening egg allergy should not get the flu vaccine, whether pregnant or not.


Here Are The Key Reasons To Get A Flu Shot Now

Fran Kritz

With all the talk about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, it’s easy to forget that another dangerous respiratory virus is poised to strike the flu.

Experts worry that we could be heading into a big flu season, especially if enough Americans do not get their annual flu shot, which is now widely available.

“We are worried the incredibly low influenza rates that we saw last seasoncould create a rebound influenza epidemic this year,” says Dr. Mark Roberts, director of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh.

Most years as many as 12,000 to 52,000 people die from the flu in the U.S. But the unusually mild flu season last year means that fewer people have immunity to strains likely to be circulating this winter. That could lead to anywhere from 100,000 to 400,000 additional hospitalizations for influenza, according to two recent computer modeling studies done by Roberts and his colleagues.

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Who Can Have A Flu Jab

The NHS states that the flu vaccine is available to people who:2

  • Are 50 and over
  • Have certain health conditions
  • Are pregnant
  • Are in long-stay residential care
  • Receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
  • Live with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus
  • Frontline health or social care workers

Why Do Healthy People Need To Get Vaccinated

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Healthy people should get vaccinated against the flu vaccine every year because anyone can get seriously ill from the flu virus. Some groups have a higher risk than others. But the flu vaccine helps prevent serious illness and death from the flu in all people who get vaccinated and in people who are unable to get vaccinated. The more people who get the flu vaccine, the more everyone in our community is protected.

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Why Are Confidence Intervals Important For Understanding Flu Vaccine Effectiveness

Confidence intervals are important because they provide context for understanding the precision or exactness of a VE point estimate. The wider the confidence interval, the less exact the point value estimate of vaccine effectiveness becomes. Take, for example, a VE point estimate of 60%. If the confidence interval of this point estimate is 50%-70%, then we can have greater certainty that the true protective effect of the flu vaccine is near 60% than if the confidence interval were between 10% and 90%. Furthermore, if a confidence interval crosses zero, for example, , then the point value estimate of VE provided is considered not statistically significant. People should be cautious when interpreting VE estimates that are not statistically significant because such results cannot rule out the possibility of zero VE . The width of a confidence interval is related in part to the number of participants in the study, and so studies that provide more precise estimates of VE typically include a larger number of participants.

Hospitals Brace For An Onslaught This Winter From Flu As Well As Covid

It could be really bad and it could be really bad at a time when there’s still quite a bit of COVID-19 filling up our hospitals,” he says.

Getting the flu shot remains the single most powerful action a person can take to fend off the days- or weeks-long, wracking muscle aches, fever and sometimes deadly respiratory infection that is influenza.

“Two reasons make getting vaccinated against the flu the wise choice,” says Dr. William Schaffner, medical director of the National Foundation of Infectious Diseases. “First, it’s been proven year after year that you’re in better shape to fight off the flu if you get the vaccine. Second, by getting vaccinated against the flu, you help protect the people around you.”

Here’s a guide to getting yourself vaccinated against the potentially fatal virus.

I heard that the flu essentially disappeared last year. Do I really need a flu shot this year?

Yes. Last year saw a record-low number of flu cases, likely thanks to widespread mask wearing, remote work and school, and physical distancing. But this year, experts fear that the reopening of schools, decreased adherence to pandemic precautions and surging delta variant infections could create a double whammy: a very serious flu and COVID-19 season. Already, cases of RSV, yet another serious respiratory virus in children, are spiking. “This suggests that flu will be back ,” says L.J Tan, executive director of the Immunization Action Coalition.

Who should get a flu shot?

Why not now?

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Does The Flu Shot Cause Autism

Some people have concerns that the flu vaccine, and other vaccinations, can cause autism.

However, according to the CDC , studies have shown that there is no link between vaccination and autism.

There are many other myths circulating about vaccinations, including the notion that they weaken the immune system, give people flu, or contain unsafe toxins. These claims are not based on scientific evidence.

This Year Theres Significantly More Interest

Annual Flu Vaccine: Why is it worth the shot

This year, there seems to be unprecedented interest in getting the flu vaccine, according to Ryan Doherty. Hes the president and founder of Empower Health, which provides localized information about healthcare providers across Canada.

One of the tools the organization offers is designed to show users where they can find flu shots in their area. Because vaccines wont become available until mid-October, the site is currently letting people sign up to receive alerts once there are vaccines available in their area. Major pharmacy brands, such as Rexall and Shoppers Drug Mart, are also encouraging people to sign up for alerts online.

There are a lot people looking for flu shots now, Doherty told HuffPost Canada. He doesnt have specific data yet, since they just launched the notification feature last week, but the demand appears to be earlier and stronger than in previous years.

Watch: How to protect yourself from the flu. Story continues after video.

Internationally, there is a trend in Australia and other other areas where there was a significant uptick in terms of people trying to get flu shots earlier, he said. Australia ordered a record number of flu vaccines and reported just 36 confirmed flu deaths between January and July. The year before, that number was 383.

Like Australia, Canada has also ordered several million more flu shot doses than usual. But doctors and pharmacists are still facing other supply issues.

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