Flu Vaccination Is Likely To Be Free If You Answer ‘yes’ To Any Of These Questions
- Does your child have asthma and regularly use a preventer medicine ?
- Is your child aged 4 years or under and has a significant respiratory illness or been in hospital for a respiratory illness ?
- Does your child have a heart condition ?
- Does your child have cancer?
- Does your child have an ongoing chest condition, such as bronchiectasis or cystic fibrosis?
- Does your child have diabetes?
- Does your child have ongoing kidney disease?
- Does your child have HIV or AIDS, an auto-immune disease or another immune deficiency?
Your child will also need to be entitled to publicly funded health services in New Zealand. You can check the Ministry of Health’s Guide to eligibility.
What Is The Flu
Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory illness thats caused by the influenza virus. There are two main types of influenza virus: type A and type B. These main types are further subdivided into multiple subtypes and strains, including the well-known H1N1 strain. The effect each of these strains may have on you depends on your age and overall health.
If you have the flu, symptoms may include:
In more extreme cases, you may experience vomiting and diarrhea. Although symptoms tend to emerge suddenly, you may find yourself experiencing a milder version in the early stages of the virus. Its also important to note that you may be a carrier for the virus even if you arent experiencing any symptoms yourself.
Flu Isnt Just A Heavy Cold
Flu occurs every year, usually in the winter, which is why its sometimes called seasonal flu. Its a highly infectious disease with symptoms that come on very quickly.
Colds are much less serious and usually start gradually with a stuffy or runny nose and a sore throat. A bad bout of flu can be much worse than a heavy cold.
The most common symptoms of flu are fever, chills, headache, aches and pains in the joints and muscles, and extreme tiredness. Healthy individuals usually recover within 2 to 7 days but, for some, the disease can lead to hospitalisation, permanent disability or even death.
Don’t Miss: Does Orange Juice Help With The Flu
Misconceptions About Physician Consent For Vaccination
Do pregnant women or people with pre-existing medical conditions need special permission or written consent from their doctor to get a flu vaccine?
No. There is no recommendation for pregnant women or people with pre-existing medical conditions to seek special permission or secure written consent from their doctor for vaccination if they get vaccinated at a worksite clinic, pharmacy or other location outside of their physicians office. With rare exception, CDC recommends an annual flu vaccine for everyone 6 months of age and older, including pregnant women and people with medical conditions.
A variety of flu vaccine products are available . Vaccine providers should be aware of the approved age indications of the vaccine they are using and of any contraindications or precautions. Providers also should appropriately screen all people getting vaccinated for allergies to vaccine components or other contraindications. People who have previously had a severe allergic reaction to influenza vaccine or any of its ingredients should generally not be vaccinated.
There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first speaking with their doctor. These include:
Pregnant women or people with pre-existing medical conditions who get vaccinated should get a flu shot.
What Should You Do Now
Some people may receive an invitation to come forward for a vaccination from their GP surgery or by a national letter. However, you do not have to wait to be invited before booking an appointment at your GP or pharmacy.
If you are eligible for a flu vaccine but cant have the flu vaccine now because you have been advised that the best vaccine for you is not currently available, please follow the advice from your GP surgery or pharmacy and remember to book in an appointment at the next opportunity.
Don’t Miss: How Old Is The Flu Vaccine
Who Should Get The Flu Shot Who Shouldnt
People over 6 months of age should receive the flu shot each year.
Its particularly important for people who are at an increased risk for flu-related complications to be vaccinated.
- anyone living or working in a nursing home or chronic care facility
- caregivers of any of the above
Children under 6 months of age shouldnt receive the influenza vaccine. To protect these children from potential exposure to the virus, all family members or caregivers should be vaccinated.
This is called herd immunity and will help protect those who cant receive the vaccine.
Additionally, if youre currently sick with an acute illness, you may need to wait until youre better to receive the vaccine.
Before youre vaccinated, you should let your doctor know if youve had:
- a prior allergic reaction to the flu vaccine
- complications from vaccines
- Guillain-Barré syndrome
These factors may indicate that you should not get the flu shot. But check with your doctor to see what they recommend.
Many flu shots contain a small amount of egg protein. If you have a history of egg allergies, talk with your doctor about receiving the flu shot.
Who Will Be Offered The Flu Vaccine
The groups currently being offered the flu vaccine are:
- Frontline healthcare workers
- Household contacts of immunosuppressed individuals
- NHS independent contractors including GP, dental and optometry practices, community pharmacists and laboratory staff and support staff
- Adult unpaid carers
- Adults aged 16 years or over who live with someone with a severely weakened immune system
Visit the child flu page for more information about the flu vaccine for children.
NHS Scotland recommends you get the vaccine as soon as it is offered to you.
If you or anyone in your household are showing symptoms of coronavirus, rearrange your appointment.
Don’t Miss: Influenza Vs Flu Vs Cold
The Best Flu Vaccine If You Have Egg Allergies
Many flu vaccines are made using chicken eggs called egg-based vaccines. While most people with egg allergies are still able to receive egg-based flu vaccines, there are rare instances where they can cause life-threatening allergic reactions. If this is the case for you or if youre concerned, Flucelvax Quadrivalent and Flublok Quadrivalent are two egg-free flu vaccine options.
If Im Fit And Healthy Do I Need To Have The Flu Vaccine
Although people with medical conditions, like asthma and diabetes, are most at risk of complications from the flu, healthy adults, children and infants can still become seriously ill and even die from the flu. Also, healthy people can spread the flu to others around them. So it is recommended that even healthy people get the flu vaccine.
Also Check: What Does The Doctor Give For The Flu
When Is The Flu Vaccine Given
It is possible to come into contact with flu viruses all year round, but the chance of the flu virus circulating in the community is highest during winter. For most people, the best time to be vaccinated against the flu is just before the start of the winter season. In New Zealand, this is between April and June. It takes 2 weeks after vaccination for the vaccine to be fully effective. You may still get the flu in this time if you come into contact with the virus, so get it done early in time for winter.
How Long The Flu Shot Lasts
Your bodys immunity to the flu decreases over time. This is true whether youve had a vaccination or a flu infection.
Additionally, influenza viruses are constantly changing. Because of this, a vaccine from the previous flu season may not protect you through an upcoming flu season.
Generally speaking, receiving the seasonal influenza vaccine should help to protect you for the duration of the current flu season.
Youll need to receive a seasonal influenza vaccine every year in order to have the best protection against influenza viruses.
The flu vaccine is produced by a number of private manufacturers and typically begins to ship to healthcare providers in August. However, theres some evidence that it may not be advantageous to receive your vaccine this early.
A indicated that maximum immunity is achieved shortly following vaccination and decreases with each passing month. Therefore, if you get your vaccine in August, you may be more susceptible to infection late in the flu season, around February or March.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends getting the flu vaccine before influenza activity begins to pick up within your community, ideally by the end of October.
If you receive your vaccine later, dont worry. Late vaccination can still provide adequate protection, as influenza can circulate within your community through March or even later.
Side effects from the flu shot are typically mild and only last a few days.
Flu vaccine side effects can include:
Read Also: Orange Juice Good For Cold And Flu
When Second Flu Shots Are Needed For Kids
If your child is getting the seasonal flu shot for the first time, you can expect that they will also need a second shot a month later. This probably wasn’t the standard when you were a kid, but it has been recommended since 2009.
The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends that all children 6 months old through 8 years old should get two doses of flu vaccine the first year that they are vaccinated against the flu. If your child had their first flu shot last year but only got a single shot, then this year, they should get a flu shot and a booster shot.
Yes You Can Get The Flu More Than Once A Year
Yes, it’s possible to get the flu more than once a year, or even more than once a season.
The main reason is that there are many different varieties of the flu virus. Influenza viruses come in four main types: A, B, C, and D. And for each type, there are numerous unique subtypes and strains.
For the last 28 years, the most common viruses that infected people each flu season were type A flu viruses. However, this year, the CDC has found more cases of type B infections something that hasn’t happened since 1992.
If you’ve been infected with type B you’re still susceptible to contracting type A and vice versa because you’ve only built up an immunity to that specific type B, or A, virus that made you sick the first time. In fact, if you’re unlucky and get the flu a second time in the same season or year, it’s unlikely you’ve caught the same strain.
“It’s almost always a different strain,” says Adrian Cotton, MD, chief of medical operations at Loma Linda University Health. “Physicians often see three ‘peaks’ of influenza two of the ‘A’ and one of the ‘B’ viruses. However, there are probably too many influenza viruses total to count.”
But there’s a silver lining: the more strains you’re exposed to, the stronger your immune system will likely be against the same or similar strains in the future. That’s why flu vaccines are the best weapon against not only avoiding the flu once but multiple times because they contain multiple different substrains of influenza types A and B.
Don’t Miss: Uti And Flu Like Symptoms
Why Should I Get Vaccinated
The flu vaccine is a safe and effective vaccine, and gives the best protection against flu. Its offered every year for free by the NHS to help protect people at risk of flu and its complications.
Flu vaccines help protect against the main types of flu viruses, although theres still a chance you might get flu after having the vaccine. If you do get flu after vaccination, its likely to be milder and not last as long.
Having the flu vaccine will also stop you spreading flu to other people who may be more at risk of serious problems from flu.
Flu can be serious and life-threatening, so getting vaccinated is the safest and most effective way to protect yourself.
The vaccine takes around 10 days to work and should help protect you during this years flu season. You have to get immunised every year because flu viruses change constantly and your immunity reduces over time.
The flu vaccine cant give you flu, but it can stop you catching it.
Ask Well: Answers To Your Health Questions
Why Do Women Sprout Chin Hairs? It is perfectly normal, and often down to genetics.
How Can I Sleep More Soundly? Gentle stretches or breathing exercises might help, as may meditation.
Is Seltzer Water Healthy? It is a better choice than soda or fruit juice. But dont overdo it.
Do I Still Need a Pulse Oximeter? Home monitoring of oxygen levels can be lifesaving for Covid patients.
Do you have a question for our health and science editors? Submit it here.
Also Check: Flu Shot For Pregnant Women
Those Who Should Consider Having A Flu Vaccination
All those who have any condition listed above, or who are:
- aged 65 years or over
- living in a residential or nursing home
- the main carer of an older or disabled person
- a frontline health or social care worker
- children of a certain age
Those aged 50 to 64 years old will also be offered flu vaccination this year.
What Vaccines Are Available For The 2021
There are nine vaccines that have been approved and released by the FDA for the 2021-2022 flu season. This year, all FDA-approved flu vaccines are quadrivalent meaning they protect against four different strains of influenza . Heres a rundown of the available flu vaccines for the year.
Its important to note that pharmacies and healthcare providers may only carry a few brands of flu vaccine not all nine that are FDA-approved. If you are interested in or know you need a certain flu vaccine, its best to call ahead and see if your preferred vaccine is available.
Don’t Miss: Cvs Free Flu Shot For Uninsured
Is Flu Illness Serious
Millions of children get sick with flu each year and thousands are hospitalized. CDC estimates that since 2010, between 7,000 and 28,000 children younger than 5 years old have been hospitalized for flu each year in the United States. Children with chronic conditions like asthma, diabetes, and disorders of the brain or nervous system, and children younger than 5 years old are more likely to end up in the hospital from flu.
Some people at high risk can develop complications that can result in hospitalization and even death.
Flu seasons vary in how serious they are from one season to another. Since 2010, CDC estimates that between 130 and 1,200 children have died from flu each year.
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
You May Like: Do You Need To Take A Flu Shot Every Year
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
Should I Get Two Flu Shots This Year
The short answer is no.
Flu shot recommendations remain the same, and unless you are under nine years old and have never gotten a flu shot before, a second dose is not recommended, says Dr. Kelly Moore, associate director for immunization education at the Immunization Action Coalition.
Children ages six months through eight years who have never been vaccinated against the flu benefit from two doses the first season they get the vaccine, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
“If your immune system has never seen influenza before and you’re getting the vaccine for the first time, your immune system doesn’t quite know what to do with that,” Dr. Moore tells CNBC Make It. “It learns, but it doesn’t learn quite well enough, and it needs that second dose to really mount a protective response.”
However, past the age of eight, just one yearly dose will do.
“When you’re older and you’ve had flu vaccines before, or you’ve had influenza before, then your immune system responds quite quickly to one dose of vaccine,” Dr. Moore explains. “We don’t see a noticeable benefit from getting multiple doses of the vaccine.
Other vaccines such as measles, chickenpox and hepatitis require two doses, which can be confusing, Moore adds.
“People may think, ‘If one is good, two must be better,’ but in reality, that’s not how our immune system works,” she says. “And while that is the case for certain vaccines and certain viruses, it’s not the case for the influenza vaccine.”
Read Also: Where To Get Tested For Flu