Myth #: You Dont Need To Get A Flu Shot Every Year
Fact: There are a lot of influenza viruses out there. And every year, the CDC and the World Health Organization perform rigorous testing to determine which strains of influenza pose the highest threats globally.
So, one of the most important things you should know about the flu vaccine is that it too changes every year, based on this research. Plus, the flu shot is effective for about six months, which is the length of flu season. This means that even if you had your shot last year, youll need on this year as well.
Vaccine Supply And Distribution
How much influenza vaccine is projected to be available for the 2021-2022 influenza season?
Flu vaccine is produced by private manufacturers, so supply depends on manufacturers. Vaccine manufacturers have projected that they will supply the United States with as many as 188 million to 200 million doses of influenza vaccine for the 2021-2022 season. These projections may change as the season progresses. All flu vaccines for the 2021-2022 season will be quadrivalent . Most will be thimerosal-free or thimerosal-reduced vaccine and about 18% of flu vaccines will be egg-free.
Where can I find information about vaccine supply?
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: quadrivalent recombinant vaccine and quadrivalent cell-based vaccine.
The Flu Shot Is Still Worth It
While the flu shot cant eliminate your risk of coming down with the flu, it does offer many benefits, including greatly reducing your chances of getting sick.
And if you do get the flu after getting vaccinated, youre more likely to get a milder case with less severe symptoms. The vaccine also lowers the likelihood of serious flu-related complications, like pneumonia or being hospitalized.
Also Check: Does Duane Reade Do Flu Shots
Can Kids Get A Covid
My family is getting the flu vaccine next week, and Im wondering if my kids can get a COVID-19 vaccine then too. Is that safe? -Monica
All kids 6 months of age and older should get both the flu vaccine and the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as they are available in their communities. All kids 5 years and older should get a COVID-19 booster dose. Some people should get a second booster dose, such as kids ages 12 and up who have weak immune systems.
When COVID-19 vaccines first became available, experts had suggested that people not get other vaccines at the same time. Instead, they recommended getting them either 2 weeks before or after the COVID-19 vaccine. But now that millions of people have gotten a COVID-19 vaccine , its clear that theyre safe and effective when given with other vaccines.
Getting both vaccines now can mean fewer trips to the doctor and feeling any vaccine-related side effects only once. Kids already get some routine childhood vaccines for different infections in a single shot, such as the diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis vaccine. And doctors often give multiple shots during one office visit. The immune system handles these well.
Myth: The Influenza Virus Doesnt Spread As Easily As Covid
While each day were still learning more about COVID, its wrong to assume the flu doesnt spread as easily.
As with many respiratory viruses, the flu are highly contagious.
The flu passes from one person to the next similarly to COVID, namely through airborne droplets spreading. These droplets can result from coughing, sneezing, or merely talking.
Another person who then touches a surface that droplets have landed on, or is within 1.5 metres from an infected person, can inhale infected droplets into their lungs.
Similar to what we know about limiting COVID spreading, here are some infection and disease control tips for the flu:
- Always cover your mouth when coughing or sneezing.
- Wash your hand regularly, especially after blowing your nose or being out in public.
- Avoid touching your face as much as practical.
- Stay home if sick and avoid being in contact with others.
So please arrange with your GP to get you and your familys flu shot from late April to early May each and every year.
Read Also: Advil Multi Symptom Cold And Flu Dosage
Can A Flu Shot Make You Get Sick
It isnt out of the ordinary to react to the flu shot, as its simply a sign that your immune system getting to work protecting you. Common responses include a sore arm, headache, nausea, muscle aches or a mild fever. The vaccine itself is adapted every year, Dr. Ford says. So its very hard to predict, from one year to the next, if youre going to have a mild reaction, no reaction or a more problematic reaction.
However, if you do get sick after getting a flu shot, its not because of the vaccine. The only direct reactions to the shot are going to happen within the first 24 to 48 hours, Dr. Ford affirms. As mentioned before, if you get sick after that, people might think its related to getting the flu shot. But its just a coincidence.
Who Should Have The Flu Shot
The Australian Government recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months has a flu vaccination every year.
Its difficult to predict who will catch influenza , or who will become seriously ill from it. The flu can require hospitalisation and can even be fatal.
Getting vaccinated against the flu helps protect both you and the people around you. Its particularly important to protect vulnerable people in the community who cant be vaccinated, such as babies who are younger than 6 months and adults with low immunity.
Don’t Miss: Flu Shot After Knee Replacement Surgery
How The Influenza Vaccine Works
The influenza viruses change every year because the influenza virus has a unique ability to change its surface structure. This means that even if you had the flu or an immunisation one year, your bodys immune system might be unable to fight the changed version of the virus that will be circulating the following year.
Each year, a new vaccine is developed and is available for those who wish to be immunised. The seasonal flu vaccine includes protection against four strains of influenza viruses.
The flu vaccine cannot give you the flu because it does not contain live virus. Some people may still contract the flu because the vaccine may not always protect against all strains of the influenza virus circulating in the community.
Why You May Feel Sick After Getting The Flu Vaccine
While the flu vaccine cannot give you the flu, it can have mild side effects that mimic influenza. This stems from your body producing the desired immune response.
These side effects usually occur soon after the vaccine is administered and last one to two days. Both the injected flu vaccine and the nasal flu vaccine may produce:
- Soreness, redness or pain at the injection site
- Low-grade fever
In addition, the nasal spray flu vaccine may cause cold-like symptoms as the weakened virus infects the nasal cells to trigger the immune reaction. Children may experience a runny nose and wheezing. Adults may have a runny nose, sore throat, and cough.
In randomized, blinded studies, no difference in side effects were seen between those who received the flu vaccine and those who got a saltwater shot, other than more soreness and redness at the injection site. Those getting a saltwater shot were just as likely to note body aches, fever, cough, runny nose, or sore throat as those getting a flu shot.
Don’t Miss: Can I Give My Dog The Flu
Where To Get The Influenza Vaccine
In Victoria the most common way people access the flu vaccine is from their doctor or a pharmacist immuniser . Some local council immunisation services also provide the flu vaccine as do some hospitals, maternity services and community health services.
Workplaces seeking to reduce the impact of flu infection on employees may also provide flu vaccination programs for their staff.
Rare Side Effects Of The Influenza 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, medical surgery, or pharmacy 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 the flu vaccine, if at all.
If any other reactions are severe and persistent, or if you are worried, contact your doctor for further information.
You May Like: Cortisone Injection And Flu Vaccine
Who Flu Jabs Are Free For
Flu vaccinations are free for:
- People aged 65 years and over
- Mori and Pacific people aged 55 years and over
- Pregnant people People who have a long-term medical condition like diabetes, asthma, or a heart condition
From 1 July, flu vaccinations are also free for
- Tamariki aged 3 – 12
- People with serious mental health or addiction needs
If youre eligible for a free flu jab contact your GP, usual healthcare provider or local pharmacy to make a booking.
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.
Read Also: When To Get Flu Shot 2020-2021
Does A Flu Vaccine Increase Your Risk Of Getting Covid
There is no evidence that getting a flu vaccine increases your risk of getting sick from a coronavirus, like the one that causes COVID-19.
You may have heard about a study published in January 2020 that reported an association between flu vaccination and the risk of four commonly circulating seasonal coronaviruses, but not the one that causes COVID-19. This report was later found to be incorrect.
The results from that initial study led researchers in Canada to look at their data to see if they could find similar results in their population. The results from Canadas study showed that flu vaccination did not increase the risk for these seasonal coronaviruses. The Canadian findings highlighted the protective benefits of flu vaccination.
The Canadian researchers also identified a flaw in the methods of the first study, noting that it violated the part of the study design that compares vaccination rates among patients with and without flu . This flaw led to the incorrect association between flu vaccination and seasonal coronavirus risk. When these researchers reexamined data from the first study using the correct methods, they found that flu vaccination did not increase the risk for infection with other respiratory viruses, including seasonal coronaviruses.
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.
You May Like: Does Medicare Cover The High Dose Flu Vaccine
People At High Risk Of Complications From The Flu
- people with health conditions, such as:
- cancer and other immune compromising conditions
- kidney disease
- neurological or neurodevelopmental conditions
- children up to 18 years of age undergoing treatment for long periods with acetylsalicylic acid
Who Is Eligible For A Fourth Covid Shot
Fourth COVID-19 vaccinations are available for all Australians over the age of 30, as well as:
- People aged 16 years and above who are severely immunocompromised.
- People aged 16 years and above who have a medical condition that increases the risk of severe COVID-19 illness.
- People aged 16 years and above who have disabilities with significant, complex, or multiple health issues, which increase the risk of poor outcomes from COVID-19 infection.
The Australian Technical Advisory Group on Immunisation specifically recommended the shot for people over 50, and said people aged 30 to 49 could choose to have a fourth dose.
ATAGI did not support making the fourth dose available to healthy adults under the age of 30 years as it was not clear whether the benefits outweighed the risks in this population group.
You May Like: Can I Take Ibuprofen After Flu Shot
What Should I Tell My Doctor Before I Get A Flu Shot
- You have any serious allergies, such as an egg allergy that causes a severe reaction. The flu vaccine may contain a small amount of egg protein. The amount is so low that it is not likely to cause an allergic reaction. Egg-free vaccines may be available.
- You developed Guillain-Barré syndrome within 6 weeks of getting a flu shot. You may not be able to get any flu vaccine unless your provider feels the benefits outweigh the risks.
You Really Are Sickbut With Something Else
Remember, too, that the flu shot only protects you from influenzanot other infections like the common cold, respiratory syncytial virus , and other viruses that may cause flu-like symptoms. Adults typically catch two to four colds per year, and young children will get six to eight.
Read Also: Non Egg Based Flu Shot
Is It Normal To Get Chills After The Flu Shot Too
While its not a given that youd develop chills in addition to your fever, theres always a possibilitychills are also common post-flu shot. In general, chills occur right before a fever, Dr. Whyte says, so look out for those symptoms shortly after you get the shot.
And yep, chills are a part of the same immune response as when you get a fever: Upon injection, your body wants to increase its temperature to kill the virus. In order to do so, it sends a message to the brain that it needs to raise the temp, which then sends you into shivers or chills. These movements help create heat, carrying out your brains desire to raise your body temperature.
Who Can Get A Free Flu Vaccine
You can get a free flu vaccine if you are:
- aged 50 to 64 years
- living in a nursing home or other long-term care facility
- in regular contact with pigs, poultry or waterfowl
People aged 50 to 64 have been added to the free flu vaccine programme until the end of April 2022.
People with these conditions can also get a free flu vaccine:
- chronic heart disease, including acute coronary syndrome
- chronic liver disease
- chronic kidney failure
- chronic respiratory disease, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease , cystic fibrosis, moderate or severe asthma, or bronchopulmonary dysplasia
- chronic neurological disease including multiple sclerosis, hereditary and degenerative disorders of the central nervous system
Don’t Miss: Fun Facts About The Flu
When Should I Get Vaccinated
You should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begin spreading in your community since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Make plans to get vaccinated early in the fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated early is likely to be associated with reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season, particularly among older adults. Vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later. Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.
Who Should Get Immunised Against Influenza
Everyone who is able to be vaccinated, should be vaccinated against the flu, every year.
Yearly flu vaccination is provided free through the National Immunisation Program for most people in the community who are at an increased risk of serious complications.
In Victoria, flu vaccination is free for:
- children aged 6 months to less than 5 years
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people from 6 months and over
- pregnant women at any stage of pregnancy
- people 65 years and over.
- people aged six months and older with medical conditions putting them at increased risk of severe influenza and its complications:
- cardiac disease
- children aged six months to 10 years on long term aspirin therapy.
People not eligible for free flu vaccination under the National Immunisation Program can purchase the flu vaccine from their immunisation provider.
You May Like: When Are Flu Shots Available At Walmart