How Effective Is The Flu Vaccine
Vaccination gives the best protection against flu.
Flu vaccines help protect against the main types of flu viruses, although there’s still a chance you might get flu.
If you do get flu after vaccination, it’s likely to be milder and not last as long.
Having a flu vaccine may help stop you spreading flu to other people who could be more at risk of serious problems from flu.
It can take 10 to 14 days for the flu vaccine to work.
Can Severe Problems Occur
Life-threatening allergic reactions to flu shots are very rare. Signs of serious allergic reaction can include breathing problems, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heartbeat, or dizziness. If they do occur, it is usually within a few minutes to a few hours after receiving the shot. These reactions can occur among persons who are allergic to something that is in the vaccine, such as egg protein or other ingredients. While severe reactions are uncommon, you should let your doctor, nurse, clinic, or pharmacist know if you have a history of allergy or severe reaction to influenza vaccine or any part of flu vaccine.
There is a small possibility that flu vaccine could be associated with Guillain-Barré syndrome, generally no more than 1 or 2 cases per million people vaccinated. This is much lower than the risk of severe complications from flu, which can be prevented by flu vaccine.
Do I Need To Get The Flu Vaccine Every Year
The flu vaccine is needed every year for two reasons.
The first is that your bodys immune response to influenza decreases over time. Receiving the vaccine every year helps you have continued protection.
The second reason is that the influenza virus is constantly changing. This means that the viruses that were prevalent in the previous flu season may not be in the upcoming season.
The flu vaccine is updated every year to include protection against the influenza viruses most likely to circulate in the upcoming flu season. A seasonal flu shot is the most effective protection.
recommends that children over 6 months of age receive the flu vaccine. Children under 6 months old are too young to receive the vaccine.
Flu vaccine side effects in babies are similar to those in adults. They may include:
- low-grade fever
- soreness at the injection site
Some children between ages 6 months and 8 years may need two doses. Ask your childs doctor how many doses your child needs.
Pregnant women should get the flu vaccine every year. Changes in your immune system during pregnancy lead to an increased risk of severe illness or hospitalization due to influenza.
Both the and American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommend pregnant women get the seasonal flu shot in any trimester of pregnancy.
Additionally, receiving the flu vaccine can help protect your baby. In the months after birth, if you breastfeed, you can pass anti-influenza antibodies to your baby through breast milk.
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Why Is The Flu Vaccine Recommended
While the flu vaccine isn’t 100% effective, it still greatly lowers a person’s chances of catching the flu, which can be very serious. It also can make symptoms less severe if someone who got the vaccine does still get the flu.
If you got the flu vaccine last year, it can’t provide enough protection this year, because flu viruses change. That’s why the vaccine is updated each year to include the most current types of the virus.
Sometimes the same virus types are included in the vaccine from one year to the next. Even then, it’s still important to get the yearly flu vaccine because the body’s immunity against the influenza virus declines over time.
Getting the flu vaccine not only protects you from the flu. It also helps protect the people and community around you. The flu vaccine makes someone less likely to get the flu, and therefore less likely to spread the flu. Getting the flu vaccine is a great way to protect people who are at risk from flu, such as the elderly, babies, and people with health conditions such as asthma. Every year thousands of people die from influenza, and getting the flu vaccine is one way to help prevent that.
Does My Child Need 2 Doses Of Flu Vaccine For The 2022
Children aged 6 months through 8 years of age are recommended to receive 2 doses of flu vaccine, separated by at least 4 weeks, for the 2022-2023 flu season if they have not previously received at least 2 doses of flu vaccine prior to this flu season.
Children who need 2 doses of influenza vaccine administered at least 4 weeks apart are recommended to receive the first dose as soon as possible after vaccine becomes available.
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Why The Shot Is Important
The flu vaccine offers a range of important benefits including:
- Reducing the number of flu cases
- Reducing the amount of time missed at work and school
- Preventing flu-related hospitalizations and deaths
- Minimizing the effects of flu if contracted
Of course, the primary benefit of the seasonal flu shot is to help maintain your and your loved ones well-being. If you have questions about which vaccine is best for you, talk to your doctor or other healthcare professional.
Is The Flu Shot Safe
Thanks to decades of studies, there is plenty of safety data to back up the flu shot. The CDC, Food and Drug Administration and several other healthcare organizations continually monitor the safety of flu vaccines by tracking vaccine-related side effects and other data.
Tell your healthcare provider beforehand if your child is allergic to eggs or has had allergic reactions to the flu shot before. A licensed flu vaccine may still be appropriate for your child, but there are likely egg-free flu vaccine options available.
You should also notify your healthcare provider if your child has a weakened immune system or Guillain-Barre Syndrome . Additionally, if your child is receiving the nasal spray vaccine, tell their doctor if they are receiving aspirin or aspirin-containing therapy.
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Flu Can Be Dangerous For Children
Flu illness is more dangerous than the common cold for children. Each year, millions of children get sick with seasonal flu thousands of children are hospitalized, and some children die from flu. Children commonly need medical care because of flu, especially children younger than 5 years old.
- Complications from flu among children in this age group can include:
- Pneumonia: an illness where the lungs get infected and inflamed
- Dehydration: when a childs body loses too much water and salts, often because fluid losses are greater than from fluid intake)
- Worsening of long-term medical problems like heart disease or asthma
- Brain dysfunction such as encephalopathy
- Sinus problems and ear infections
- In rare cases, flu complications can lead to death.
What Are The Benefits Of Flu Vaccination
There are many reasons to get an influenza vaccine each year. 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 the flu.
Flu vaccination can reduce the risk of flu-associated hospitalization for children, working-age adults, and older adults.
Flu vaccination is an important preventive tool for people with chronic health conditions.
Flu vaccination has been associated with lower rates of some cardiac events among people with heart disease, especially among those who had had a cardiac event in the past year.
Flu vaccination can reduce worsening and hospitalization for flu-related chronic lung disease, such as in persons with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Flu vaccination also has been shown in separate studies to be associated with reduced hospitalizations among people with diabetes and chronic lung disease.
Flu vaccination helps protect women during and after pregnancy.
Flu vaccines can be lifesaving in children.
Flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce the severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick.
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Where Can I Get More Information About The Flu Vaccine For Babies And Kids
For the most current information, check the CDC’s flu site or call the CDC at CDC-INFO or 232-4636.
Check out our resource page for information about other vaccines and immunizations recommended for babies.
And for more great advice for your child’s health and safety, all from a top pediatric ER doctor, check out BabyCenter Courses’ CPR, First Aid, and Safety class.
Side Effects Of The Children’s Flu Vaccine
Flu vaccines are very safe.
Side effects of the nasal spray flu vaccine are mild and do not last long. They include:
- a runny or blocked nose
- loss of appetite
For the injected flu vaccine, most side effects are also mild and do not last long. They include:
- a sore arm where the injection was given
- a slightly raised temperature
These side effects usually last for 1 or 2 days.
It’s rare for anyone to have a serious allergic reaction to the flu vaccine. If they do, it usually happens within minutes.
The person who vaccinates you or your child will be trained to deal with allergic reactions and treat them immediately.
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Different Ages Get Different Flu Shots
Dear Doctors: I went to our local pharmacy to get a flu shot for myself and also for my dad. It turns out that because he is 68 years old, he didn’t get the same vaccine as me. They gave him something called “fluad quadrivalent.” How is that different from the regular flu vaccine? Why did he need it?
Dear Reader: First, we want to thank you for taking an important step in safeguarding your health and that of your father. Flu season in the United States started early this year, and it is turning out to be particularly severe. It has resulted not only in widespread illness, but also in high rates of hospitalization. That makes getting vaccinated particularly important.
Due to age-related changes to the immune system, older adults are at increased risk of developing potentially life-threatening complications from a case of the flu. According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in recent years, well over half of hospitalizations due to the flu, and up to 85% of flu-related deaths, have occurred in adults 65 and older. People of all ages who are living with underlying conditions such as diabetes, asthma, lung disease and heart disease are also at increased risk.
The good news is that this year’s flu vaccine is proving to be effective at reducing the severity of disease and decreasing the risk of hospitalization. By getting vaccinated, you and your dad are protecting yourselves, as well as the people around you.
Will There Be Flu Along With Covid
While its not possible to say with certainty what will happen in the fall and winter, CDC believes its likely that flu viruses and the virus that causes COVID-19 will both be spreading. In this context, getting a flu vaccine will be more important than ever. CDC recommends that all people 6 months and older get a yearly flu vaccine.
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Can My Child Get Flu From A Flu Vaccine
No, flu vaccines do not cause flu. Flu vaccines are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with
Flu vaccine protects your child from flu illness. However, flu shots can sometimes cause mild side effects that may be mistaken for flu. Keep in mind that it will take about 2 weeks after getting a vaccine for your child to build protection against flu.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Family Physicians, and American Academy of Pediatrics strongly recommend children receive all vaccines according to the recommended vaccine schedule.
Flu Vaccine For Frontline Health And Social Care Workers
If you’re a frontline health and social care worker, you should get your flu vaccine through your employer. They may give you the vaccine at your workplace through the occupational health scheme.
If you cannot get a flu vaccine through your employer, you can still get it if you’re employed:
If you are one of these frontline staff, you can get vaccinated at a pharmacy or the GP surgery you are registered with.
If you are employed by a registered residential care or nursing home, or a voluntary managed hospice provider, you may also be offered vaccination at your place of work when the residents or patients are vaccinated.
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Where Can I Get A Flu Shot
There are more places than ever to get your flu vaccination. Doctors offices, clinics and health departments offer the flu shot, but you may need to make an appointment in advance. Pharmacies have become an easy and convenient option to get your flu shot. At Walgreens, we offer flu shots to everyone 3 and older. You can make an appointment online, through our app or by calling 1-800-WALGREENS .
When Should My Child Get A Flu Shot
- The CDC recommends vaccinating as soon as flu vaccine is available .
- Although peak flu season is January through March, flu season can start in early October.
- Typically, the flu vaccine takes two weeks before it is effective. It is important to vaccinate before influenza is known to be circulating in the community.
- Children who are eligible may receive a flu vaccine and COVID-19 vaccine at the same time.
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Why Do Babies Get Sick After The Flu Shot
However, there may be side effects your baby experiences. Common symptoms include soreness or swelling where the vaccine was administered , low-grade fever, nausea or muscle aches. Side effects may last up to 24 to 36 hours.
Why does this happen? The purpose of a vaccine is to prepare your body to defend against a future infection. In the case of the flu vaccine, the deactivated version of the virus trains your immune system to recognize the proteins in the virus. As a result, your body creates antibodies to fight the flu.
Any type of reaction to the flu vaccine will be mild. In fact, your child is more likely to experience symptoms from the actual flu than they are a vaccine.
Why Should I Get The Flu Vaccine
Nationally, influenza vaccination prevented an estimated 7.52 million illnesses, 3.69 million medical visits, 105,000 hospitalizations, and 6,300 deaths due to influenza during the 2019-2020 season. When more people get vaccinated against the flu, less flu can spread through the community.
It is especially important to get the flu vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic:
- Flu vaccination reduces the prevalence and severity of illness caused by flu, reducing symptoms that might be confused with those of COVID-19
- It will reduce the overall burden of respiratory illness that will protect people at higher risk for severe illness of both flu and COVID-19
- The reduction of outpatient illnesses, hospitalizations, and intensive care unit admissions from flu vaccination will alleviate stress on the health care system
For additional information, please see the CDC page: This Season a Flu Vaccine is More Important than Ever!
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Special Consideration Regarding Egg Allergy
People with egg allergies can receive any licensed, recommended age-appropriate influenza vaccine that is otherwise appropriate. People who have a history of severe egg allergy should be vaccinated in a medical setting, supervised by a health care provider who is able to recognize and manage severe allergic reactions. Two completely egg-free flu vaccine options are available: Flublok Quadrivalent recombinant flu vaccine and Flucelvax Quadrivalent cell-based flu shot.
Can You Get The Flu From The Flu Shot
No, you cannot get the flu from the flu vaccines. Flu vaccines given with a needle are made with either inactivated viruses or with only a single protein from the flu virus. The nasal spray vaccine contains live viruses that are weakened so that they will not cause illness.
While some people may experience a low-grade fever or body aches as a side effect, that does not mean the vaccine gave them the flu. For example, if you got sick with the flu shortly after receiving a flu vaccine, it means you were exposed to the flu before your body had the chance to fully develop the antibodies needed. It takes about two weeks after receiving the vaccine before you’re protected against the influenza virus.
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What Else Should I Know
Some things might prevent a person from getting the flu vaccine. Talk to your doctor to see if the vaccine is still recommended if your child:
- has ever had a severe allergic reaction to a flu vaccination
- has had Guillain-Barré syndrome
Egg Allergy and the Flu Vaccine
In the past, people with an egg allergy had to check with their doctor about whether the flu vaccine was OK for them because it’s grown inside eggs. But health experts now say that the amount of egg protein in the vaccine is so tiny that it’s safe even for kids with a severe egg allergy. This is especially important during a severe flu season.
Still, a child with an egg allergy should get the flu vaccine in a doctor’s office, not at a supermarket, drugstore, or other venue.
Getting a Flu Vaccine During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The flu season seemed milder during the COVID-19 pandemic, as fewer people got infected or were hospitalized with the flu. This was probably tied to public health measures that protected against coronavirus, as they also protect against the flu. These included wearing masks in public, social distancing, and less travel. These precautions are happening less, and the rate of flu infections is going back up. So it’s still important to get a flu vaccine each year. People can get a flu vaccine at the same time they get the COVID-19 vaccine.