Can I Get The Flu Vaccine If I’m Breastfeeding
Yes, you can safely have the vaccine if you are breastfeeding. Getting yourself protected can help prevent you becoming infected and passing the flu on to your baby. Breastfeeding may also offer some protection to the baby. However, babies have more protection if you get vaccinated during pregnancy.
Is It Ok To Get The Flu Vaccine More Than Once In The Same Flu Season
Studies have not shown there is any benefit for most adults getting more than one dose of vaccine in the same flu season. However, its recommended that some people get 2 doses of the flu vaccine in one season:
- children under 9 years old who have not ever been vaccinated against the flu
- people who are having flu vaccination for the first time after a stem cell transplant or organ transplant
- pregnant women, who may be vaccinated with the next seasons influenza vaccine if it becomes available in the latter part of their pregnancy, even if they had the previous seasons vaccine
- overseas travellers who are going to the northern hemisphere winter
Is It The Flu A Cold Or Covid
The common cold, flu, and COVID-19 can all cause similar symptoms. If you have symptoms, talk with your health care provider. Your provider can help determine the cause of your illness and help you take steps to feel better.
A cold is often milder than the flu. The flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, but COVID-19 spreads more easily and symptoms tend to be more severe. It’s also more common to have a change in your sense of smell or taste with COVID-19.
People with the flu can have fever, chills, dry cough, general aches and pains, and a headache. They feel very tired. Sore throat, sneezing, stuffy nose, or stomach problems are less common. What some people call “stomach flu” is not influenza. Learn more about the differences between the flu and a cold and flu and COVID-19.
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Moderna Booster Update Today: How Effective Is It Against Omicron Here’s The Latest
As the omicron variant spreads across the US, Moderna on Monday said its COVID vaccine booster can can raise omicron antibody levels.
The Moderna booster is one of the two mRNA vaccine boosters now recommended by the CDC.
Moderna said early lab trials show its booster can raise antibody levels 37 fold and “should provide good protection against the omicron variant,” Stephen Hoge, Moderna’s president, said during a conference call on Monday. Hoge said preliminary data suggests protection by Moderna’s booster against omicron is “reassuring” and “comfortably” above the level of a breakthrough risk.
Omicron is rapidly spreading against the US and the world, with cases doubling every two to three days, Dr. Anthony Fauci, chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden, said on CNN on Sunday. While the new variant appears able to evade some of defense offered by two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, boosters from the two companies look to raise protection against infection and possibly serious illness from the new variant. “The good news,” Fauci said on Sunday, “is when you boost someone, goes right back up.”
While the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine boosters appear to be effective against the omicron variant, vaccines used elsewhere in the world may not be as effective, The New York Times reported. On Dec. 16, a CDC advisory committee recommended the mRNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer over the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Flu Shot Side Effects : What’s Normal And What’s Cause For Concern
All vaccines have the potential to cause side effects, and that includes your yearly flu shot. But most are totally normal.
The coronavirus is still a very real concern this fall, but so is the influenza virus, aka the flu. The good news is we have very safe and effective tools for fighting and preventing both potentially deadly viruses, thanks to the COVID-19 vaccines and the flu vaccine.
According to the CDC, flu shots are safe and one of the best ways to keep from getting and spreading the flu to others. And people who get vaccinated and get sick anyway often experience less severe symptoms. If you’re thinking of getting vaccinated for both COVID-19 and the flu, the CDC says it is safe to get both vaccines together .
The simple fact is, flu vaccines can save lives. There are plenty of myths out there about the flu vaccine, such as the idea that it can give you the flu. While that’s not true, you can experience some side effects from the flu shot. The side effects are usually mild and nothing to worry about, but it’s important to know about them so you’re not worried when you get your vaccine.
Below, Dr. Carmen Teague, specialty medical director at Atrium Health‘s Mecklenburg Medical Group shares what you need to know about common flu shot side effects that are normal, and which side effects may be a sign of something more serious.
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How Much Protection Do Vaccines Offer
Vaccines in the U.S. and around the world do not offer as much protection against omicron as they have against previous versions of the coronavirus. However, vaccines still help a lot. Lab tests show while two doses may not be strong enough to prevent infection, a booster shot of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine produces virus-fighting antibodies capable of tackling omicron.
Antibody levels naturally drop over time, and a booster revved them back up again, by 25 times for Pfizers extra shot and 37 times for Modernas. No one knows exactly what level is high enough or how long it will be before antibody levels begin dropping again.
After a booster, the protection against an omicron infection still appears about 20% less than protection against the delta variant, said Dr. Egon Ozer of Northwestern University.
But if the virus gets past that first line of defense, the vaccinated have additional layers of protection.
The vaccines are going to protect you against severe disease, hospitalization and death, said Houston Methodist’s Long. And thats really the most important thing.
Those extra defenses include T cells that mobilize to beat back the virus, plus memory cells that, once reactivated, race to make more and stronger antibodies.
Myth #: The Flu Vaccine Isn’t Safe For Pregnant Women
Studies show flu vaccines are safe for women in any stage of pregnancy, the CDC says. There are several reasons why it’s important for pregnant women to get a flu shot, Schaffner said.
“Pregnant women, when they get influenza, have a tendency to get a more severe disease,” and are at increased risk for complications and hospitalization from the disease, Schaffner said.
In addition, flu vaccination in pregnancy helps to protect the baby against flu during the first six months of life, when the baby is too young to receive a flu shot, Schaffner said. The mother “passes that protection on to her newborn baby,” Schaffner said.
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Do I Need The Flu Vaccine If I Am Travelling
Whether or not you are at high risk for the complications of flu, you should consider getting a flu vaccination before travelling overseas because studies have shown that the flu is the most commonly contracted vaccine-preventable disease among international travellers.
- Flu outbreaks have been linked to travellers.
- Certain types of travel where large numbers of people are likely to be in close proximity, such as cruise ship voyages or events that include mass gatherings, are particularly high risk.
- In tropical countries, the flu can occur throughout the year, so vaccination is worthwhile regardless of the season.
- In temperate climates in the northern hemisphere, the flu is more common between the months of December and March.
How Important Is It To Get A Booster And Do I Need To Wait If Ive Been Sick
If you were vaccinated with either Pfizer or Moderna six months or more ago or had the Johnson & Johnson shot two or more months ago, then its time to get your booster dose. The CDC recommends getting either Pfizer or Moderna and has found that so-called mixing and matching is safe.
A little less than half of Coloradans whove been vaccinated have received their booster dose. Barron and other health officials say that number should be higher.
Getting vaccinated is a big deal. Obviously, it’s a good idea to have that completed at least two weeks prior to your travel plan, Barron said. What if you’re leaving in a week? It’s still worth getting it done and doing it before you actually leave, so you have some level of protection.
Booster shots are available at state-run vaccination sites, most pharmacies and hospitals. Theyre also available at Denver International Airport by appointment.
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Why Is The Flu Vaccine Recommended
While the flu vaccine isn’t 100% effective, it still greatly reduces a person’s chances of catching the flu, which can be very serious. It also can make symptoms less severe if someone does still get the flu after immunization.
Even if you or your kids got the flu vaccine last year, that won’t protect you 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 types are included in the vaccine one year after 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.
When To Postpone The Flu Shot
Having cold symptoms isn’t necessarily a reason to avoid getting your flu shot. But sometimes it’s better to put it off for a few days.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends waiting until you’re better if:
- You have a fever over 101 degrees Fahrenheit
- You’re very ill
Fever isn’t a frequent cold symptom in adults. It’s more common in children, though.
If you’re planning to get your child vaccinated and they seem sick, monitor their temperature. If they have a fever, the healthcare provider may decide it’s better to wait than to vaccinate right away.
The healthcare provider giving you the vaccine should ask you if you have a fever or are sick before giving it. If they don’t, be sure to speak up.
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The Correct Strain Of Flu Isn’t In The Vaccine
The flu shot provides protection against three or four specific strains, or types, of influenza. These strains are selected by researchers who hope to protect as many people as possible. Because the flu virus mutates, or changes, new vaccines have to be made every flu season.
Despite their best educated guesses, researchers and public health officials may get it wrong. If that year’s illness-causing strains of influenza are not included in the vaccine, people who get the flu shot may still get the flu.
Where Can I Get Vaccinated Against The Flu
People eligible for a free flu vaccineEligible people can get a free vaccination from their family doctor/general practice. It is usually the practice nurse who gives the vaccine. Many community pharmacies provide free flu vaccinations to people aged 13 years and older and pregnant women . People who are not eligible to receive a free flu vaccineThe flu vaccination is available from:
- your family doctor/general practice
Please contact your healthcare provider about the cost of getting the flu vaccine.
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Myth #: The Flu Isn’t Serious
“The flu is certainly a very serious disease,” Cunningham said.
Every year, between 15 million and 60 million cases of the flu are reported in the U.S., Cunningham said. More than 200,000 people with the flu are admitted to hospitals yearly. And between 3,000 and 50,000 people in the U.S. die of the flu yearly. During the 2019-2020 flu season, early estimates by the CDC suggest 38 million Americans were infected with the flu and 22,000 people died from it.
One reason people may not perceive the flu as being serious is that cases of the “stomach flu” are mistaken for influenza virus infections. “True influenza is an infection of the lungs and respiratory tract,” Cunningham said. Infected people may develop a high fever, body aches and nasal congestion, he said.
People with the stomach flu which is commonly caused by a virus called norovirus have diarrhea, cramping and other gastrointestinal symptoms. Influenza does not cause such symptoms.
This article is for informational purposes only, and is not meant to offer medical advice.
Originally published on Live Science.
Rachael has been with Live Science since 2010. She has a master’s degree in journalism from New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program. She also holds a B.S. in molecular biology and an M.S. in biology from the University of California, San Diego. Her work has appeared in Scienceline, The Washington Post and Scientific American.
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Before the COVID-19 pandemic, a sore throat or runny nose likely meant you were suffering from a cold and some rest and fluids would help you get back to your regular self within a few days. However, with COVID-19 symptoms overlapping with the cold and flu, the diagnosis is not as clear based on symptoms alone.
To add to the confusion, there’s a new COVID-19 variant. Cases linked to the Omicron variant are soaring around the world as researchers race to find out more about the new strain.
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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.
Who Should Get A Flu Vaccine
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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First Heres Who Should Get A Flu Shot
In general, the CDC recommends that people over the age of six months get an annual flu shot. Worth noting: That includes pregnant people, people with certain chronic health conditions, and those with egg allergies.
However, the CDC says that certain people shouldnt get an annual flu shot, including children under age six months, people with severe, life-threatening allergies to any ingredients in a flu vaccine , and those who have had a severe reaction to a flu vaccine in the past .
Is The Flu Expected To Be More Severe This Year Than It Was Last Year
That is difficult to predict, Sampathkumar said. While last years flu season was mild, she is concerned that as people are more relaxed about masking and other COVID-19 safety guidelines this year, flu activity could be problematic for hospitals already overwhelmed by the current delta surge.
Even a relatively mild flu season could be really a big problem for hospitals that are so full right now because in an average year, we do see people who need hospitalization for influenza, she said, and right now hospitals are so full that we can’t really afford to have people get sick with influenza on top of everything else that’s going on.
- With current surgeRising breakthrough COVID-19 cases cause hassles, health worries
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What Are The Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine
Soreness, redness and swelling at the injection site, as well as headache, fever, nausea, muscle aches and fatigue can occur with the shot. The nasal spray vaccine in kids can cause runny nose, wheezing, headache, vomiting, muscle aches, low-grade fever and sore throat. Side effects of the nasal spray for adults may include runny nose, headache and cough.
Rarely, life-threatening allergic reactions can occur. Symptoms, which usually arise within a few hours after vaccination, may include breathing problems, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, rapid heartbeat or dizziness.
Why Do I Need A Flu Shot Every Year If I Had The Flu Last Year Or If I Got A Flu Shot Last Year Am I Still Protected This Year
No. We need a new flu vaccine each year because the flu virus changes every year. The vaccine must change along with it for optimal protection.
Its not unusual to see 30,000 to 50,000 deaths a year from influenza, said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. If we have a major flu season, it will be too late for you to get your shot when that really hits us hard. So now’s the time to get your vaccination.
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