Rapid Response To Pandemic Flu
The rapid development, production, and distribution of pandemic influenza vaccines could potentially save millions of lives during an influenza pandemic. Due to the short time frame between identification of a pandemic strain and need for vaccination, researchers are looking at novel technologies for vaccine production that could provide better “real-time” access and be produced more affordably, thereby increasing access for people living in low- and moderate-income countries, where an influenza pandemic may likely originate, such as live attenuated technology and recombinant technologies . As of July 2009, more than seventy known clinical trials have been completed or are ongoing for pandemic influenza vaccines. In September 2009, the FDA approved four vaccines against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus , and expected the initial vaccine lots to be available within the following month.
In January 2020, the US Food and Drug Administration approved Audenz as a vaccine for the H5N1 flu virus. Audenz is a vaccine indicated for active immunization for the prevention of disease caused by the influenza A virus H5N1 subtype contained in the vaccine. Audenz is approved for use in persons six months of age and older at increased risk of exposure to the influenza A virus H5N1 subtype contained in the vaccine.
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
Who Should Get The Pneumonia Vaccine
So that depends on which specific pneumonia vaccine you’re talking about.
The CDC recommends that these groups get PPSV23:
- All adults 65 years or older.
- People ages 2 through 64 with certain medical conditions
- Adults 19 through 64 years old who smoke cigarettes
The CDC recommends that the following groups get PCV13:
- All children younger than 2 years old.
- People 2 years or older with certain medical conditions.
Here’s where things get a little tricky: The CDC specifically says that adults 65 years or older should discuss and decide with their doctor if they should get PCV13that’s because that pneumonia vaccine used to be recommended for all older adults in the US, but the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices a group of top medical and public health experts in the countryhelped to change that in 2019. The organization released a report at that time saying that PCV13 simply may not be necessary for healthy adults aged 64 and older.
“The effectiveness of this vaccine in kids is driving down cases in adults,” John E. McGinniss, MD, a pulmonologist at Penn Medicine, tells Health, adding that it’s “probably overkill” to give most adults PCV13, along with PPSV23.
David Cutler, MD, family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, agrees. “We’ve done such a good job vaccinating children that we’ve found there’s less of a need to give it to adults,” he tells Health.
Also Check: Is There Medicine To Treat The Flu
Unknown Or Uncertain Vaccination Status
Vaccination providers frequently encounter persons who do not have adequate documentation of vaccinations. With the exception of influenza vaccine and PPSV23, providers should only accept written, dated records as evidence of vaccination self-reported doses of influenza vaccine and PPSV23 are acceptable . The rationale for acceptance for influenza vaccine is that the time period of recall is one year or less, making it very likely that correct recall will occur. The rationale for acceptance for PPSV23 is high frequency of vaccination leads to an increased rate of local reactions due to the reactogenicity of this vaccine. Although vaccinations should not be postponed if records cannot be found, an attempt to locate missing records should be made by contacting previous health care providers, reviewing state or local IISs, and searching for a personally held record. If records cannot be located within a reasonable time, these persons should be considered susceptible and started on the age-appropriate vaccination schedule. Serologic testing for immunity is an alternative to vaccination for certain antigens . However, commercial serologic testing might not always be sufficiently sensitive or standardized for detection of vaccine-induced immunity , and research laboratory testing might not be readily available.
Based on expert opinion.
TABLE 3-1. Recommended and minimum ages and intervals between vaccine doses,,,
Interchangeability Of Combination Vaccines From Different Manufacturers
Licensure of a vaccine by FDA does not necessarily indicate that the vaccine is interchangeable with products from other manufacturers. Such data are ascertained and interpreted more readily for diseases with known correlates of protective immunity . For diseases without such surrogate laboratory markers, prelicensure field vaccine efficacy trials or postlicensure surveillance generally are required to determine protection . ACIP prefers that doses of vaccine in a series come from the same manufacturer however, if this is not possible or if the manufacturer of doses given previously is unknown, providers should administer the vaccine that they have available.
You May Like: When Are You Supposed To Get Your Flu Shot
How To Stay Safe
Given that COVID-19 is a respiratory illness just as pneumonia is, it is important to do your best to minimize your risk of contracting COVID-19, which could potentially cause severe respiratory complications.
The same precautions you’ve been taking to stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic will, of course, keep you safe from developing pneumonia secondary to COVID-19, too. Be diligent about wearing a well-fitting mask, social distancing, and washing your hands.
A few other tips to keep in mind for recovery from pneumonia are to:
- Control your fever with NSAIDs or acetaminophen .
- Drink plenty of fluids to help loosen secretions and to cough up phlegm.
- Avoid taking cough medicines before talking to your healthcare provider first because coughing is one of the ways your body is working to get rid of the pneumonia infection.
- Drink warm beverages like tea or hot water.
- Use a humidifier, and take steamy baths or showers to help open your airway and ease your breathing.
- Stay away from smoke to allow your lungs to heal themselves. If you are a smoker, this would be a good time to think about quitting.
- Get rest. Stay home and take it easy for a while until you feel better and stronger.
These are all things you can do from the safety and comfort of your own home. Taking care of yourself and seeking medical care as needed can help keep you safe from COVID-19.
What Is Pneumococcal Disease
Pneumococcal disease is caused by a specific type of bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae. Its most common in children, but can also cause significant complications in older adults or people with chronic conditions.
The pneumococcal bacterium is contagious, which means that it can be passed from one person to another. This typically happens through direct contact with respiratory secretions like saliva or mucus.
Developing a pneumococcal infection can lead to a variety of conditions, some of which can be life threatening. Conditions caused by pneumococcal infections include:
Vaccination against a pneumococcal infection helps prevent you or your child from becoming sick from pneumococcal diseases. It also aids in preventing these diseases from spreading within your community.
Vaccination cant always prevent all cases of pneumococcal disease. Nevertheless, according to the , even just 1 dose can help protect against a variety of pneumococcal infections.
There are two vaccines available for pneumococcal disease:
Also Check: Can The Flu Shot Cause Guillain Barre Syndrome
What Types Of Pneumococcal Vaccines Are There
All babies and young children should receive the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine . Some children with medical conditions should also receive the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine . The number of doses depends on the medical condition. Talk to your childs doctor about which vaccines they recommend.
What To Know About Mild Side Effects
As with any vaccine, you may experience some mild side effects after receiving the pneumococcal vaccine.
Mild side effects vary depending on which vaccine you receive. The side effects will usually go away within a few days.
Possible side effects of the PCV13 vaccine include:
- redness or discoloration, pain, or swelling at the site of the shot
- sleepiness or drowsiness
- mild fever
Also Check: How Do I Get A Flu Shot At Cvs
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.
When To Seek Emergency Medical Care
Anyone experiencing any of the following emergency warning signs of flu sickness, including people with asthma, should seek medical attention right away.
These lists are not all inclusive. Please consult your medical provider for any other symptom that is severe or concerning.
Also Check: High Dose Flu Vaccine Who Should Get It
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Being Vaccinated
The benefits of vaccination generally far outweigh any risks, Privor-Dumm says. Although vaccines do have some side effects, most are mild and temporary.
The bigger con is getting disease, which may lead to further health complications, she adds. For instance, people who are hospitalized with influenza have a greater likelihood of heart attack or stroke following their illness, and the economic consequences of a serious illness can be catastrophic for some. Thats why its best to prevent disease in the first place.
How Cdc Monitors Vaccine Safety
CDC and FDA monitor the safety of vaccines after they are approved or authorized. If a problem is found with a vaccine, CDC and FDA will inform health officials, health care providers, and the public.
CDC uses 3 systems to monitor vaccine safety:
- The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System : an early warning system, co-managed by CDC and FDA, to monitor for potential vaccine safety problems. Anyone can report possible vaccine side effects to VAERS.
- The Vaccine Safety Datalink : a collaboration between CDC and 9 health care organizations that conducts vaccine safety monitoring and research.
- The Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project: a partnership between CDC and several medical research centers that provides expert consultation and conducts clinical research on vaccine-associated health risks.
Don’t Miss: Flu Virus A And B
Complications Of Pneumonia Caused By Covid
Because pneumonia causes the alveoli in the lungs to fill with pus and fluid, breathing can be painful and difficult.
Pneumonia can cause serious health complications, including:
Because COVID-19 attacks the lungs, it would make sense that having COVID-19 would cause lung complications. As of yet, not enough data are available to support this conclusion.
However, as noted above, research does show that COVID-19 can cause severe illness, including pneumonia that can be fatal. A 2020 study by the CDC found that among a group of people with COVID-19, about 70% had complications from pneumonia. Also, people with COVID-19 were twice as likely to get pneumonia compared to people with the flu.
Regarding long-lasting complications from COVID-19, it is still too soon to say for sure whether “long-haulers” are more likely to have underlying chronic medical conditions.
What To Know About The Pneumococcal Vaccine
Who needs it: The CDC recommends one pneumococcal vaccine for adults 19 to 64 with certain risk factors . If you work around chronically ill people say, in a hospital or nursing home you should get the vaccine, even if you’re healthy. People 65 and older can discuss with their health care provider whether they should get PCV13 if they haven’t previously received a dose. A dose of PPSV23 is recommended for those 65 and older, regardless of previous inoculations with pneumococcal vaccines.
How often: Space immunizations out. You should receive a dose of the pneumococcal conjugate vaccine , then, a year later, a dose of pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine . People with any of the risk factors should get one dose of PCV13 and PPSV23 before age 65, separated by eight weeks.
Why you need it: Pneumococcal disease, which can cause pneumonia, kills around 3,000 people a year. Young children and those over 65 have the highest incidence of serious illness, and older adults are more likely to die from it.
Editors note: This article was published on Oct. 26, 2020. It was updated in September 2021 with new information.
Also of Interest
Read Also: How Are Flu Vaccines Administered
Influenza And Pneumococcal Vaccination Levelsamong Adults Aged Greater Than Or Equal To 65 Years
In 1996, influenza and pneumonia were the fifth leading cause of deathamong persons aged greater than or equal to 65 years in the United States. A national health objective for 2000 is to increase influenza andpneumococcal vaccination levels to greater than or equal to 60% amongpersons at high risk for complications, including those aged greater thanor equal to 65 years . To monitor states’ progress toward achieving thisobjective, data from the 1997 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System were analyzed. This report summarizes the BRFSS findings, whichindicate the influenza vaccination objective was exceeded by 45 states andby the 50 states and the District of Columbia combined, but thepneumococcal vaccination objective was not reached by any state.
During 1997, among persons aged greater than or equal to 65 years,65.5% reported receiving influenza vaccine during thepreceding year, and 45.4% reported ever receivingpneumococcal vaccine . Both percentages were higher than in1995, when 58.7% and 36.9% reported receiving influenza and pneumococcal vaccine, respectively.
Among the 52 reporting areas, 45 had influenza vaccination levelsgreater than or equal to 60%, and nine had levels greater than or equal to70% . From1995 to 1997, 48 of 50 states showed improvement in influenza vaccinationlevels .
What Are Common Flu Vaccine Side Effects To Expect
According to the CDC, you may experience short-lived, minor side effects of the flu shot or nasal spray vaccineas is the case with any vaccination or medication. You might think that side effects are a bad thing, but theyre actually signs that your immune system is responding and getting ready to protect you.
Heres how it works: The flu shot contains inactivated or incomplete strains of the influenza virus, while the nasal spray contains live attenuated strains. Neither form of the vaccine contains live flu viruses that can thrive in your body.
When you get any type of vaccine, the whole purpose is to expose your immune system to the virus, infectious disease expert Amesh A. Adalja, M.D., senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, tells SELF. Your immune system will start to rev up in response. These dead, partial, and weakened viruses are enough to provoke your immune system to develop antibodies to guard you against live and threatening flu viruses. It usually takes about two weeks for those to kick in and offer you protection, per the CDC.
Sometimes your immune system does this without causing noticeable symptoms, but other times, youll experience a few minor side effects as a result. Here are the most common ones you might experience:
Read Also: High Dose Flu Vaccine Recommendations
A Flu Shot Is The Best Protection Against Flu
Flu vaccination is especially important for people with asthma because they are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications. Flu vaccines are updated each season to keep up with changing viruses. Also, immunity wanes over a year so annual vaccination is needed to ensure the best possible protection against flu. A flu vaccine protects against the flu viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. This seasons flu vaccines have been updated from last seasons vaccines to better match circulating viruses. More information on why flu vaccines are updated annually is available: Vaccine Virus Selection, as well as this years flu vaccine composition.