Friday, September 29, 2023

Can You Take The Flu Shot Twice

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When Is It Time To Get A Covid

Get a flu shot to help avoid ‘twindemic’ of flu season and COVID-19, experts warn

If you got Moderna or Pfizer jab, you’re eligible for a booster six months after the date of the second shot listed on your vaccination card. Two months after the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the time for a booster .The CDC and other health authorities are now urging people to get boosters as soon as they’re eligible, to keep the immune response against omicron, delta and other coronavirus variants of concern as strong as possible.

On Dec. 2, President Biden outlined a plan for Medicare to contact the 64 million people it serves and for AARP to reach out to its 38 million members about getting a booster shot. Pharmacies like Walgreens, CVS and Rite Aid are contacting customers who got a vaccine at their stores when it’s time to schedule a booster.

Misconceptions About Flu Vaccine Effectiveness

Influenza vaccine effectiveness can vary. The protection provided by a flu vaccine varies from season to season and depends in part on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine and the similarity or match between the viruses in the vaccine and those in circulation. During years when the flu vaccine match is good, it is possible to measure substantial benefits from flu vaccination in terms of preventing flu illness and complications. However, the benefits of flu vaccination will still vary, depending on characteristics of the person being vaccinated , what influenza viruses are circulating that season and, potentially, which type of flu vaccine was used. For more information, see Vaccine Effectiveness How well does the Flu Vaccine Work. For information specific to this season, visit About the Current Flu Season.

There are many reasons to get an influenza vaccine each year. Flu vaccination is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones against flu and its potentially serious complications.

Below is a summary of the benefits of flu vaccination and selected scientific studies that support these benefits.

  • A 2018 study showed that from 2012 to 2015, flu vaccination among adults reduced the risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit with flu by 82 percent.

Is it too late to get vaccinated after Thanksgiving ?

Here Are The Key Reasons To Get A Flu Shot Now

Fran Kritz

With all the talk about COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, it’s easy to forget that another dangerous respiratory virus is poised to strike the flu.

Experts worry that we could be heading into a big flu season, especially if enough Americans do not get their annual flu shot, which is now widely available.

“We are worried the incredibly low influenza rates that we saw last seasoncould create a rebound influenza epidemic this year,” says Dr. Mark Roberts, director of the Public Health Dynamics Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh.

Most years as many as 12,000 to 52,000 people die from the flu in the U.S. But the unusually mild flu season last year means that fewer people have immunity to strains likely to be circulating this winter. That could lead to anywhere from 100,000 to 400,000 additional hospitalizations for influenza, according to two recent computer modeling studies done by Roberts and his colleagues.

Read Also: Feeling Sick 2 Weeks After Flu Shot

Will I Need To Use This Drug Long Term

Tamiflu is meant to be used short term for both treating and preventing the flu.

Most people will take Tamiflu for 5 days when its used to treat the flu. When its used to prevent the flu, Tamiflu is typically taken for 10 days. But it can be used for up to 6 weeks for flu prevention if theres a community outbreak.

Tamiflu isnt meant to be used long term. Your doctor will recommend how long you should take this drug.

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about Tamiflu.

What To Know About B And A Strains

Can You Get Flu Twice in a Month &  What To Do When You ...

The fact that B strains are predominating this year isnt just confusing, its concerning as well.

B strains havent hit this hard for nearly 30 years, since during the 19921993 season, the CDC told Healthline.

Additionally, we didnt see much of the B strain in the past couple of years, according to Dr. Norman Moore, the director of infectious diseases for Abbott.

This means that many people especially kids have never been exposed to the strain, and consequently, dont have residual immunity against it.

When theres a rarity, it actually sets you up for another bigger push to get it, because at that point, we really dont have anybody with any strong immunity going around, so were all potential vessels for getting exposed and transmitting it, Moore said.

This is one of the reasons kids are being hit harder this year. Theyve never been exposed to this type of the flu its their first go-around.

These kids are just brand new to getting flu B, Moore said.

And because we havent seen much of the B/Victoria strain in the past few years, this years vaccine missed the mark.

We thought initially the match was perfect, but its not. Its off a little bit, and that means in many populations the vaccine is not going to function optimally, Schaffner explained.

Fortunately, the vaccine covers H1N1 well. According to Schaffner, the match to H1N1 is right on.

Our past experience with influenza viruses does give us some residual protection that lasts, Schaffner said.

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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:

Whats New And Resources For The 2021

The CDC maintains a page dedicated to the current flu season. There is a section for the public and also a section for providers. This is a good place to get up-to-date information on influenza and influenza vaccination. You can find it here:

Note that the CDCs Flu FAQ page currently includes lots of information about influenza and COVID-19, such as how to tell them apart, why its safe to be vaccinated for both at the same time, and more.

The CDC also provides information specific to older adults here:

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Can You Get The Flu Twice In 1 Season

Getting sick with a single strain does not necessarily protect you from others

This flu season is a particularly severe one, and it’s not over yethealth officials say flu activity will likely remain elevated for at least several more weeks. But if you already caught the flu, are you in the clear for the rest of the season?

Unfortunately, no. Experts say it is possible to catch the flu twice in one season. That’s because there are multiple strains of flu viruses circulating at any one time, said Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious-disease specialist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. So getting sick with one strain of flu won’t necessarily protect you from a different strain.

But the good news is that it’s pretty rare to catch the flu twice in a single season. Having this happen would be “quite a stroke of bad luck,” Schaffner told Live Science.

Most people who get the flu this season are getting sick with the H3N2 strain. But a smaller portion of people are getting the H1N1 strain or the influenza B virus, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Seasonal flu shots contain three to four strains of flu virus, because there isn’t much “cross protection” between strains, Schaffner said. It’s possible that getting sick with one type of influenza A virus would offer some modest protection against another type of influenza A, but it probably wouldn’t give you any protection against the influenza B virus, Schaffner said.

How Effective Is The Moderna Booster Against The Omicron Variant

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On Monday, Moderna’s Hoge said early lab research shows the pharmaceutical company’s COVID-19 vaccine booster provides “good protection against the omicron variant” by raising antibody levels approximately 37 fold. For comparison, Pfizer said earlier this month its booster raises antibody levels 25 fold, creating “robust protection” and offering “a sufficient level of protection” against omicron.

Studies of omicron variant infections in the US appear to support the concern about weakened protection for those who are fully vaccinated with two doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines or one of Johnson & Johnson’s, but did not get a booster yet. Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, CDC director, said Dec. 10 that 80% of the first confirmed US cases with the mutated strain had been in patients who were fully vaccinated.

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Where Is The Safest Place To Get The Vaccine

On Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services gave permission to pharmacists nationwide to administer all scheduled shots to children as young as 3, including the flu vaccine. You can use the Vaccine Finder website to locate a place near you.

Although parents now have more options of places to vaccinate their children, it may be most beneficial to do so at your pediatricians office because they know your childs medical history and youll have the opportunity to discuss other things, for example sleep issues or developmental milestones, or to get other vaccines that might have been missed earlier this year.

Its important to maintain that contact with your childs doctor, especially for younger children, Dr. Muñoz said.

If you do decide to go to a pharmacy, dont forget to keep a record of the vaccine and when it was given, particularly for children who may need a second dose, Dr. Sawyer advised.

Instead of getting a shot, children 2 years and up can get a vaccine nasal spray. It doesnt matter which type of age-appropriate vaccine you get, according to the C.D.C., for all are effective.

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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Read Also: What Does The Flu Vaccine Do

Is Tamiflu An Antibiotic Or An Antiviral

Tamiflu is an antiviral. It contains the active drug oseltamivir, which belongs to a class of antiviral drugs called influenza neuraminidase inhibitors. These drugs target the influenza virus and prevent it from multiplying inside your body. This helps your immune system fight off the virus.

Tamiflu is effective to treat certain strains of influenza A and influenza B virus.

How Will The Delta Variant Impact This Flu Season

Flu jab side effects: Does the flu vaccine make you feel ...

It is possible to have the flu and COVID-19 at the same time. The highly contagious Delta variant that is going around might make this even more likely and its something you want to avoid.

There is growing evidence that having COVID-19 and the flu together increases the risk for severe illness and death. Thats a compelling reason to get vaccinated against both.

For further COVID-19 resources visit

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When To Have Your Child Vaccinated

If your child needs two flu vaccines in one season, try to get them as early as possible. Flu vaccines are available in most places by September each year. Getting the first vaccine early in the fall will make it more likely that your child can get the second one before the flu is widespread in your community.

However, if you find that it is later in the season and you have not yet had your child vaccinated, don’t think it’s too late. Any protection you can provide is better than none. Influenza is a serious disease that can be life-threatening to your child.

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?

What about serious reactions to flu vaccine?

Can vaccinating someone twice provide added immunity?

Also Check: How Long Does The Flu Vaccine Protect You

My Child Had The Flu Last Year Doesnt That Mean Shes Immune

No, your child still needs to get the flu shot.

Even if you had the flu two years ago or the year before, it might be that the strains that are around causing the flu this year are completely different, Dr. Muñoz said. Its unusual to have the same strain of virus circulating every year.

This years vaccine covers four flu strains and three of the four strains were not in last years flu vaccine, she added.

There are two types of flu viruses that most seriously affect humans: influenza A and B. Each type of virus has multiple strains, any one of which could be in circulation. In addition, the strains can mutate during the flu season and will be perceived as a new virus by our immune system.

All of this makes it difficult to predict in advance which strains will be most prevalent or virulent in the fall. Each year, the World Health Organization makes its best guess as to which strains will be in circulation and issues its recommendations for the flu vaccine.

The Baffling Shot Paradox

Why you could get the flu twice this season

If vaccinations are really effective, then those who choose to get the flu shot should be immune to the disease. So why is there such a strong push to vaccinate as many people as possible? Aren’t those who get the shot protected anyways? And if this is true, we should ask doctors why, as statistics show, only 40% of health practitioners take the shot while practically 100% of doctors recommend the flu shot to their patients. Maybe they know something we dontuntil now.

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