The Flu Shot And Covid
An important update regarding timing between receiving the flu and COVID-19 vaccines for all Victorians including those most vulnerable in our community.
The original recommended timing between receipt of the 2 vaccines was a preferred minimum interval of 2 weeks .
Based on the latest medical advice the preferred minimum interval between vaccinations for COVID-19 and the flu is now 7 days.
Exercise After Vaccinations: How Soon Is Too Soon
Q: What is the proper protocol for exercising your horse after he receives shots? Is it OK to work him or should he have the day off? When I had to have vaccinations because I was traveling out of the country, my arm was sore. Does this happen to horses, too?
Most horses will have no reaction to vaccines beyond a minor bit of stiffness.
A: Just as with people, horses may have a wide range of reactions after receiving vaccinations. The majority of equine vaccines are administered by intramuscular injections, or “shots into the muscle,” on the side of the neck.
For most horses, the only reaction, if any, is a little local inflammation and soreness at the injection site, which lasts just a few days. Usually, light exercise the day of the vaccinations and the next will actually help make the sore muscles feel better. During these workouts you might notice a little stiffness, but most riders report that they cannot feel any difference. After the first day or two your horse can return to his normal exercise routine and level.
There are some exceptions to this rule: If your horse has significant swelling, a fever or severe stiffness after his vaccinations, talk to your veterinarian before resuming exercise.
to learn about promising research into a sweet itch vaccine.
Melinda Freckleton, DVMHaymarket, Virginia
This article first appeared in EQUUS issue #425.
Can I Exercise Before The Covid
Exercise in the lead up to the vaccination is fine and may in fact increase the likelihood of a beneficial response to the vaccine by improving your immune response. This hasnt been shown with the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine but has been reported with the flu vaccine, says Dr James Hull, associate professor at the Institute of Sport, Exercise and Health at University College London.
Research, including a 2019 paper published in the Journal of Sport and Health Science, has shown that exercise can improve immunity in the long term, but each exercise bout also causes an instant increase in white blood cells, cytokines and other immune responses.
Despite this, Dr Hull says that you shouldnt exercise vigorously on the day of vaccination. Its just a logical approach, he says. If you then get a reaction including muscle pain or headaches, you wont know if its the vaccine or the vigorous exercise youve done.
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Who Should Be Immunised Against Flu
Immunisation for the flu is recommended for everyone aged 6 months and over.
Some people are more at risk of complications from influenza and are eligible for free vaccination.
People with an underlying medical condition or reduced immunity are most at risk and should be immunised against influenza. They include:
- anyone aged 65 years and older
- pregnant women
- all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people aged from 6 months and over
- people 6 months or older with:
When Shouldn’t You Work Out After The Covid
There are no particular health conditions, including asthma or heart disease, that would prevent you from working out after getting vaccinated as long as exercise is a normal part of your routine, explains Dr. Russo. “Your exercise regimen should be in the framework you’ve developed given your known limitations.”
That being said, the CDC does note on its website that “side effects can affect your ability to do daily activities” including working out. Meaning, if you develop a fever or chills, you might not feel like crushing your usual workout until you feel better .
Certain symptoms may be an indication that your body is working hard to mount an immune response and could use a rest, explains Dr. Russo. These include fever, headache, full-body aches, headaches, chills, and extreme fatigue, according to Dr. Sulapas.
- extreme fatigue
“Listen to your body,” says Doug Sklar, a certified personal trainer and founder of PhilanthroFIT in New York City. “If you have not experienced any adverse response, I think it’s reasonable to go ahead and get your workout in.” But, if you’re not feeling great, Sklar says it’s “best to take the hint and rest up until the symptoms pass.”
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Can Exercise After Vaccines Improve Immune Response
If exercise doesnt hurt your immune response to a vaccine, can it actually help it? The data is mixed, and the results can vary depending on the age and gender of study subjects, which vaccines they get, and the type, duration, and timing of the exercise they performed.
For example, one study looking at healthy young adults found that those who performed 15 minutes of exercise with resistance bands prior to receiving the pneumococcal vaccine had an enhanced antibody response. But the response was only significant in those who received a half-dose of the vaccine, versus a full one. Other research published in the journal Frontiers of Immunology found that a single bout of exercise can enhance the immune response to vaccinations in both young and older study subjects. And researchers from the University of Sydney recommend performing moderate-intensity exercise or resistance exercise immediately before or after getting a flu shot to help activate your immune systems response to the vaccine.
Exercise likely increases blood and lymphatic flow, which helps spread the immune cells that are produced post vaccination, explains Ramsey Shehab, MD, a family practitioner and sports medicine specialist at Henry Ford Health Systems.
If exercise can give your immune response to a vaccine a leg up, whats the best way to do it? Theres no formal consensus.
How To Treat Flu Vaccine Side Effects If Youre Really Struggling
Although side effects shouldnt last long, theres no shame in wanting to minimize your pain. To deal with any aches or a fever, you can try an over-the-counter pain-reliever such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, according to the Mayo Clinic. If your arm is really sore, consider icing it to help with inflammation. Getting plenty of sleep, loading up on water, and generally trying to take it easy until you feel a bit better is always a good idea, too.
And if you have any questions about the flu vaccineif and when you should get your flu shot or nasal spray vaccine, if you should be worried about side effects, concerns about allergies, or anything elsedont hesitate to talk it over with a health care professional. Theyre there to help you make the process as seamless as possible.
Additional reporting by Korin Miller
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Can You Get The Flu Vaccine And Covid
You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine during the same visit, according to the CDC and based on extensive research with vaccines, Dr. Carney says. This gives people the opportunity to get vaccinated for both flu and COVID-19 at the same time, increasing their protection against both of these infections.
While there isnt a ton of information or research available on getting the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time, the CDC makes their recommendation based on research into how people react to other combinations of vaccines. Its not clear if getting both vaccines at the same time will increase your chances of having side effects. Early research done in the U.K. of 670 adults shows that people who received their second COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time were more likely to have local reactions, which includes side effects like arm pain and swelling near the injection site, compared to people who only got the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the November 2021 paper published in The Lancet2.
Misconceptions About Flu Vaccines
Can a flu vaccine give you flu?
No, flu vaccines cannot cause flu illness. 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 attenuated so that they will not cause illness.
Are any of the available flu vaccines recommended over the others?
For the 2021-2022 flu season, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends annual influenza vaccination for everyone 6 months and older with any licensed, influenza vaccine that is appropriate for the recipients age and health status, including inactivated influenza vaccine , recombinant influenza vaccine , or live attenuated nasal spray influenza vaccine with no preference expressed for any one vaccine over another.
There are many vaccine options to choose from, but the most important thing is for all people 6 months and older to get a flu vaccine every year. If you have questions about which vaccine is best for you, talk to your doctor or other health care professional.
Is it better to get sick with flu than to get a flu vaccine?
Do I really need a flu vaccine every year?
Why do some people not feel well after getting a seasonal flu vaccine?
- Carolyn Bridges et al. . Effectiveness and cost-benefit of influenza vaccination of healthy working adults: A randomized controlled trialexternal icon.
What about serious reactions to flu vaccine?
Can vaccinating someone twice provide added immunity?
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Paying Attention To Side Effects
Many people report mild side effects after the first dose of a two-dose vaccine. However, one study showed that about 50% of people experienced moderate-to-severe side effects after their second dose.
It is important to note that most side effects are normal, as they are the bodys way of responding to the vaccine.
In people who experience side effects, the extent of these effects will determine whether it is possible to exercise shortly after the first dose. A person may consider waiting several hours, or even 12 days, after their second dose.
In very rare cases, a person may experience an allergic reaction to the vaccine. Allergic reactions typically begin of vaccination. People with a history of allergies may, therefore, choose to rest and observe their symptoms after getting the shot.
Warm Up With Some Shoulder Mobility
Speaking of shoulder mobility, so some dynamic stretching and warm up well before doing any lifting even if you don’t plan on taxing your deltoids. Even a move like a back squat requires your arms and shoulders to move around freely.
Also use your warm-up routine to check in with how you’re doing. If you feel good, you might try moving forward with your regular routine.
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When Is It Ok To Resume Exercise
No matter what your physical activity of choice is, it’s safe to do it after getting the vaccine.
Though it may seem counterintuitive, many doctors suggest making an effort to move your upper body after receiving any vaccine, as it can help reduce soreness in the injection site. The same is true for the COVID vaccine. People may experience arm soreness and body aches … some light stretching and exercising the arm may help reduce the pain, Gandhi says. It’s also perfectly safe to resume whatever you like to do for regular exercise immediately after getting vaccinated and it wont affect the vaccines effectiveness, she adds.
The Flu Vaccine Is Not 100% Effective
Even if you get your flu vaccine on time, it’s not 100% effective. So there’s still a chance you can get the flu even after you’ve been vaccinated.
That’s because scientists don’t always correctly match the viruses in the vaccine with those that pop up during the flu season. This is what’s called a mismatch.
The CDC typically recommends that vaccine manufacturers include virus particles or weakened viruses that have been circulating in the Southern Hemisphere six months or so before the upcoming flu season in the Northern Hemisphere. However, what infects the Northern Hemisphere isn’t always the same virus as what popped up in the Southern Hemisphere.
When there’s a mismatch, that can make the flu vaccine less effective and increase your chances of getting sick from influenza. In this case, CDC experts warn the public that the shot might not offer as much protection as it has other years. So far this flu season, it’s too early to tell how effective this year’s vaccine will be against the flu.
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How Exercise Can Help Boosts Flu Shot Effectiveness
One of the most notable studies on flu vaccines and exercising in from a November 2004 study from the journal Vaccine, where researchers looked at adults over age 65, a group that usually has reduced response to flu vaccines. They found that those who exercised consistently showed a much higher level of antibodies after getting the flu shot than those with lower levels of activity.
But you dont have to be a regular exerciser to see similar benefits.
In research from February 2007 published in Brain, Behavior and Immunity, participants lifted weights for 20 minutes about six hours before receiving a flu shot and were compared to a control group that received a shot at the same time but didnt exercise. Researchers checked participants a month later and found that those in the weights group had higher antibody levels.
In terms of exercising after your flu shot, that strategy can also increase antibody levels, Dr. Scott says, and also be a big-time immunity tonic, thanks to a range of benefits better sleep, lower stress, more efficient white blood cell circulation, less bacteria in the lungs and other effects which can all make you a cold- and flu-fighting machine throughout the winter months.
Your body loves exercise, because it bolsters the immune system and helps you function better in nearly every way, he says. Plus, research suggests it doesnt even take much activity to see that ripple effect.
Rare Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine
There is a very small risk of a serious allergic reaction to any vaccine. This is why you are advised to stay at the clinic or medical surgery for at least 15 minutes following vaccination in case further treatment is required.
Apart from anaphylaxis, other extremely rare side effects include in children.
A small increase in Guillain-Barré syndrome was seen in the US in 1976, but since that time, surveillance has shown that it is limited to one case for every million doses of influenza vaccine, if at all.
If any other reactions are severe and persistent, or if you are worried, contact your doctor for further information.
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Flu Vaccine For People With Long
The flu vaccine is offered free on the NHS to anyone with a serious long-term health condition, including:
- a learning disability
- problems with your spleen, for example, sickle cell disease, or if you have had your spleen removed
- a weakened immune system as the result of conditions such as HIV and AIDS, or taking medicines such as steroid tablets or chemotherapy
Talk to your doctor if you have a long-term condition that is not in one of these groups. They should offer you the flu vaccine if they think you’re at risk of serious problems if you get flu.
A Second Flu Can Be As Bad As The First
Getting the flu a second time can make you just as miserable as it did the first time around. And the potential for complications with the second infection is just as great as it was with the first.
Those complications can be serious, such as pneumonia and even sepsis, a potentially deadly reaction your body can have to infection.
Flu can also harm your heart. A study published in 2018 in the New England Journal of Medicine found that an individuals heart attack risk was six times higher than usual in the seven days following a positive test for influenza.
This may be of most concern to older adults, especially those with heart disease or who are at higher risk for heart disease because of smoking, diabetes, or other factors, says Jeff Kwong, M.D., lead author of the study and a scientist at the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences in Ontario.
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What Types Of Exercise Should I Do After The Covid Vaccine
There is no specific type of exercise recommended after receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. However, exercise in general has been shown to be an effective immunity booster and may even increase the effectiveness of the vaccine.
In a 2021 review on exercise and immunity, researchers noted that moderate to vigorous physical activity resulted in a 31% reduced risk of community-acquired diseases and a 37% reduced risk of mortality from infectious diseases .
In addition, exercise has been shown to increase the potency of the vaccine by increasing antibody concentration. These results were not specific to COVID-19, but this is another benefit of habitual exercise .
The review looked at aerobic exercise and resistance training individually and in combination. All proved to be beneficial .
Habitual exercise such as aerobic exercise and resistance training has been shown to be beneficial in reducing risk of community-acquired diseases and may also boost the potency of vaccines.
If youve had a fever, increased fluid intake is also recommended for preventing dehydration, although this may be more important in those who have a higher fever or whose side effects last longer .
If exercise makes you feel sick, you may want to decrease your exercise intensity. For instance, opt for a walk instead of running.
However, this recommendation applies only if these medications wont aggravate any other medical conditions you have .