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Can I Get Flu Shot When I Have A Cold

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Can I Get The Flu Vaccine If I Have An Egg Allergy

How To Tell If You Have A Cold, The Flu Or Coronavirus | TODAY

The influenza vaccine is typically grown in eggs. But the traces of egg protein that remain after the vaccine is made are so tiny that the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy says both adults and children with egg allergy can be safely vaccinated against the flu. The risk of anaphylaxis after vaccination is very low, estimated at 1.35 cases per 1 million doses.

It is rare for people with egg allergy to experience other side effects, such as hives, wheezing, vomiting or abdominal pain, after getting the flu shot. If you are concerned, ask your doctor if you, or your child, can be observed by staff for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine .

Why You Should Still Get A Flu Shot This Year

Nov. 10, 2021 — The flu shot is far less effective than the COVID-19 vaccines, causes more side effects, and targets an infectious disease that most people survive, with the flu killing only a fraction of those who die from coronavirus.

So should you even bother getting a flu shot this year?

Health experts say the short answer is yes.

They point to three key reasons federal health authorities recommend the flu shot for everyone 6 months old and older:

  • The vaccine is the most effective way to protect yourself and others from the flu, which kills an average of 36,000 Americans every year, and flu-related complications.
  • Side effects from the shot are very rare and typically mild— primarily soreness where the needle went into your skin, headache, fever, nausea, muscle aches, and fatigue.
  • With COVID-19 expected to surge in coming weeks as Americans travel and gather for the winter holidays, this is not the year to risk becoming hospitalized for the flu or other preventable diseases.
  • âIt’s really important to reduce the risk of getting the flu, which is what the flu vaccine does,â says Leana Wen, MD, an emergency medicine doctor and public health policy professor at George Washington University. âThis is particularly important this year, when we could very well face the confluence of influenza and COVID-19.â

    She notes that flu shots, as well as COVID-19 vaccines, donât protect only those who receive them.

    Why Flu Shot Effectiveness Varies

    What Can We Expect This Year?

    Delay Getting Your Booster If Youve Tested Positive Or Have Symptoms Of Covid

    The CDC advises to wait to get your booster shot if youve tested positive for COVID-19. According to the latest CDC criteria, you should isolate even if you have no symptoms. If you’re positive for COVID-19 and have symptoms, you should isolate and wait until your symptoms resolve before you get your booster shot.

    Delaying your booster after a COVID-19 infection serves two purposes:

    1) It will allow your body enough time to recover, so it can respond to the booster shot properly.

    2) You will be much less likely to infect other people if you are still contagious.

    Connect with your healthcare provider if you need advice about when you should get your booster shot.

    Also Check: Flu Symptoms Day By Day

    If You Do Get The Flu

    To treat the flu, use the remedies just described and add the ones below to your regimen. Take them for as long as symptoms last, unless otherwise indicated. These supplements are safe, in these amounts, for everyone.

    Take for the first two days only…

    • Oscillococcinum. This homeopathic remedy is made from animal organ-derived ingredients that provide natural immunity to the flu virus. It can ease flu symptoms if taken within 48 hours after they start.

    Action plan: Follow label directions for use, beginning on the first day of a cold or flu.

    Take for as long as symptoms last

    • Lomatium. This herbal remedy was used by Native Americans to treat respiratory infections. It has well-documented antimicrobial properties.

    Action plan: Look for an alcohol- or glycerin-based tincture of lomatium. Follow label directions for use.

    Note: Lomatium may amplify the effect of blood-thinning medications, so check with your doctor first if you are taking warfarin or any other blood-thinning medication. If you develop a rash or nausea, stop taking it.

    • Elderberry was also used medicinally by Native Americans. Studies show that it significantly improves flu symptoms within two to four days.

    Action plan: My favorite elderberry product is Sambucol syrup, available at drugstores . Follow label directions.

    Who Should Get A Flu Vaccine

    Flu shot ingredients: What they contain and why

    With rare exceptions, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that everyone 6 months and older get a flu vaccine. People with egg allergies can still get flu shots, although those with life-threatening allergies to other vaccine ingredients, like gelatin or antibiotics, should not.

    Dr. Gandhi emphasized that those who are pregnant should get a flu shot this year, because they are more likely than others to get severely ill with the flu. Flu shots have been given to millions of pregnant people over the years, and they are safe, Dr. Gandhi said. By getting the flu vaccine when pregnant, babies will also be protected, because flu-fighting antibodies are passed to the infant and provide protection after they are born.

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    When Are You Eligible For A Booster Shot

    CDC guidelines say you should have recovered from your acute COVID-19 symptoms and discontinued isolation when you arrive for your booster. Groups that are eligible for a booster in the U.S. are:

    • People 12 years of age and over at least 5 months after vaccination with 2 doses of the Pfizer vaccine

    • People 18 years of age and over 5 months after vaccination with 2 doses of the Moderna vaccine

    • People 18 years of age and over 2 months after 1 dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine

    The type of booster the CDC recommends varies according to each situation, so be sure to check the guidelines for your specific case.

    Can I Still Get A Flu Shot If I’m Sick

    Once you have booked your appointment, you are required to fill out a screening questionnaire, a standard list of questions recommended by the Australian Immunisation Handbook.

    The questionnaire is mandatory because a needle cannot be administered without your express consent. As part of it, an administrator will generally ask how you are feeling.

    But it can be hard to know whether it is worth mentioning your runny nose .

    It all depends on how sick you are: a runny nose, cough, and aches and pains will not prevent you from receiving the vaccine, but having a high fever will.

    “If you are ‘systemically unwell’ or have a fever of above 38.5C, it’s medically recommended that we hold off,” Dr Clements said.

    However, an administrator can choose not to give you the vaccine if they suspect you are ill, even if you say you are fine.

    Recommended Reading: Flu Shots For Pregnant Mothers

    Do We Know How Bad This Years Flu Season Will Be

    We dont have a crystal ball, said Dr. Lisa L. Maragakis, the senior director of infection prevention at the Johns Hopkins Health System. But for hints of what to expect, scientists have been watching the Southern Hemisphere, where flu season is now wrapping up. And the good news is that the flu season has been relatively mild there, Dr. Maragakis said so ours might be, too.

    Yet there are reasons to be worried as well. When you look across the years, more serious and more severe flu seasons often follow light ones, Dr. Maragakis said. Thats likely because of how the flu evolves and how susceptible people are to the strains circulating during the next season. Since weve had two light years in a row, we could be in for a bad year if the flu starts spreading, she said.

    In a study published on a preprint server in August that has not yet been peer-reviewed, researchers from the University of Pittsburgh used mathematical modeling to predict how severe the upcoming flu season might be based on this increased susceptibility. They reported that if flu and flu vaccination levels are typical of prior years, 102,000 more Americans than average could be hospitalized with influenza a 20 percent increase.

    How To Book Your Appointment

    Do You Have a Cold or the Flu? Here’s How to Find Out

    If you’re eligible for a free flu vaccine, you can book an appointment at your GP surgery or a pharmacy that offers it on the NHS.

    You may also get an invitation to get the vaccine, but you do not have to wait for this before booking an appointment.

    Everyone who is eligible for the free flu vaccine will be able to get it.

    GP surgeries and pharmacies get the flu vaccine in batches. If you cannot get an appointment straight away, ask if you can book an appointment for when more vaccines are available.

    If you have an appointment for a COVID-19 booster vaccine at a GP surgery or pharmacy, you may also be offered a flu vaccine at the same time.

    Do not delay booking your flu vaccine appointment so that you can get both vaccines together. Only some people will be offered both vaccines at the same time.

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    What Do Eggs Have To Do With It

    The questionnaire will also ask if you are allergic to eggs, among other things. That is because the flu vaccine may contain residual egg protein because it is grown in eggs.

    In fact, all influenza vaccines available in Australia are prepared from purified inactivated influenza virus that has been cultivated in embryonated hens’ eggs.

    The vaccine is grown in eggs because a virus cannot reproduce on its own, it has to infect a cell and take over that cell, and tell the generic material in that cell to make new viruses.

    Emeritus Professor and Burnet Institute Visiting Fellow Greg Tannock, who sits on the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee , said “about 90 per cent of influenza vaccines use, as starting materials, influenza viruses grown in the allantoic sac of 10 to 11-day-old fertile eggs.”

    Other vaccines grown in eggs are:

    • Pandemic inactivated influenza vaccine
    • Yellow Fever vaccine

    While it is relatively common in infants 8.9 per cent having a proven allergy to raw egg most kids outgrow it by the time they reach primary school, although it can sometimes persist into adult life.

    Over the past few decades, the amount of egg protein used in the vaccine has been greatly reduced to less than just 1 microgram per dose.

    Severe allergic responses are also very rare.

    “They certainly do not constitute a reason for abandoning vaccination, because of the major public health consequences of influenza epidemics.

    What If I Get The Flu And Covid

    Simultaneous infections like these have so far been rare. A spring 2020 study in New York City, for instance, found that after testing about 1,200 Covid-19 patients for co-infection with other respiratory viruses, like influenza, only 3 percent had simultaneous infections.

    Kids may be more likely than adults, though, to get multiple infections at the same time. When we look at the kids who have been hospitalized for the coronavirus, often they have more than one respiratory virus, Dr. Fradin said. Generally, people with both infections would be treated similarly to those infected with one, she added flu patients might be given antiviral drugs, for instance.

    But because so few people have had the flu and Covid-19 at the same time, we still dont know much about how sick they generally become, Dr. Palese said. There are some cases which are really bad, he said, and some that havent been all that serious. Still, Dr. Gandhi stressed that the possibility of simultaneous infection is yet another reason to get a flu vaccine. Being co-infected with two very serious illnesses is never a situation you want to be in, she said.

    Recommended Reading: Is Advil Multi Symptom Cold And Flu Non Drowsy

    How Can I Tell If I Have The Flu Covid

    It can be challenging to distinguish between these conditions because they have many overlapping symptoms. For instance, both the flu and Covid-19 can cause fever, chills, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue, sore throat, runny nose, body aches, headache, vomiting and diarrhea. Therefore, the only way to distinguish reliably between the two illnesses is to get tested, Dr. Gandhi said.

    There are now combined tests available at some doctors offices that can distinguish between flu, SARS-CoV-2 and respiratory syncytial virus , a common and typically mild respiratory virus that can cause more serious symptoms in infants and older adults. Most of these tests are not covered by health insurance, though, Dr. Fradin said. They can run around $250, although costs may vary, she said.

    Some cold and allergy symptoms might overlap with those from the flu or Covid-19 , but symptoms of colds and allergies are typically more mild, and are usually limited to the nose, throat and chest. In kids, however, Covid-19 can present a lot like a cold. So it may be wise for kids with cold symptoms to get a Covid-19 test, Dr. Fradin said.

    Why Is The Flu Vaccine So Important This Year

    Flu: Symptoms, treatment, contagiousness, and do I have it?

    COVID-19 is still likely to be circulating during the flu season. This means it is more important than ever to have the flu vaccination. The flu vaccine is critical to help protect the general health of everyone in the UK, particularly those who are most at risk from both COVID-19 and flu. New research from PHE suggests that co-infection of both flu and COVID-19 is associated with a greater risk of more severe illness and death. It is also important to minimise the number of people becoming unwell with flu this winter in order to protect the NHS. Flu can develop into a serious illness that requires hospitalisation and add to the pressure on the NHS and social care when they may also be dealing with cases of COVID-19.

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    How Long Should You Wait To Get The Covid

    Early in the pandemic, the CDC recommended waiting 90 days after a COVID-19 infection to get a vaccination. Now that theres a better understanding of the COVID-19 virus, the guidelines have changed. According to the CDC, after a COVID-19 infection, you can get a booster if:

    • Your symptoms have resolved.

    • Youve isolated for the recommended period of time.

    • It has been 3 months since you received monoclonal antibodies.

    Since the guidelines can change based on the latest COVID-19 information, check the CDC guidelines and touch base with your primary care provider before you get your booster.

    /7if You Have Already Had Covid

    Another common misconception is that people who have recovered from coronavirus will not require a vaccine shot right now.

    This is not true. Reinfection is a real possibility and there is strong evidence to suggest that immunity against COVID-19 may not be long-term for everyone. Getting a vaccine shot would mean that you double up your chances of protection and protect your fragile immune system.

    Read Also: Which Cold And Flu Medicine Is Best

    Does The Flu Shot Have Any Side Effects

    You might have a sore arm, muscle aches or a low-grade fever for a day or two after getting a shot. The vaccine cannot make you sick and for most people, side effects are very, very minimal, Sampathkumar said. You feel the needle going in, you may have a little bit of local tenderness at the site, but thats about it.

    Can I Get The Flu Shot If Im Sick What If I Have A Fever

    Can I Get the Flu Shot and COVID Vaccine at the Same Time?

    Were quickly heading into the heart of flu season here, Buckeyes in fact weve already seen a couple of cases so its time to talk flu vaccine.

    There are a few valid reasons to not get a flu vaccine:

    • Youve had a severe allergic reaction to eggs in the past
    • Youve had a bad reaction to a flu vaccine in the past
    • Youve had something called Guillain-Barré Syndrome after receiving influenza vaccine in the past.

    These are pretty rare conditions, but being sick this time of year sure isnt and we get asked all the time whether or not someone can get a flu shot if theyre sick. Or even worse people just assume they cant and we never see them! So lets set the record straight.

    If youre sick with a cold or other mild illness and you dont have a fever, you can absolutely get your flu vaccine. If you have a fever , the general consensus has always been that you should hold off on getting the flu vaccine until it breaks. Why? Two reasons:

  • If you spike a fever right after getting the vaccine, we wont know if youre having a bad reaction to the vaccine or if its just your illness. We dont want to confuse the matter and cause you to not get the vaccine in the future.
  • The vaccine might not be as effective. If your immune system is all fired up fighting an infection, your white blood cells might get confused and attack the vaccine along with whatever ails you, leading to a weaker response to the vaccine.
  • John A. Vaughn, MD

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    So Can You Get A Flu Shot When Youre Sick

    Pull up a seatweve got a few things to cover here. While the CDC is kinda-totally vague about whether its okay to get a flu shot when youre sick, the CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices has general vaccine info that addresses whether its okay to receive any vaccine when youre not feeling well.

    The language is a little medical jargony, but it says that a lot boils down to how severe your symptoms are and what kind of illness you have. The safety and efficacy of vaccinating persons who have mild illnesses have been documented, the ACIP says, adding that, vaccination should be deferred for persons with a moderate or severe acute illness.

    In general, if you have a little cold or the sniffles, its okay to proceed with a flu shot.Timothy Murphy, MD

    Here’s how you can break that all down: In general, if you have a little cold or the sniffles, its okay to proceed with a flu shot, says Timothy Murphy, MD, senior associate dean for clinical and translational research at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. To a certain extent, its a judgment call, depending on how bad youre feeling.

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