You Got The Flu Vaccine Too Early
Getting your flu vaccine is one instance when being overly prepared in life can have downsides.
The CDC recommends that adults get vaccinated by the end of October each year for the best protection against the flu. If you received your vaccine earlier, say in July or August, the CDC says your immunity to the influenza viruses will be “suboptimal” by the end of flu season, which could increase your risk of getting sick.
For children who need two doses of the flu vaccine, they should receive their first vaccine earlier because they need to wait at least four weeks for the second dose. The second dose should be administered no later than the end of October.
When Are You Contagious
Another factor that contributes to how the flu spreads is when exactly you may be contagious. Unlike many common illnesses that are only contagious when you’re experiencing symptoms, the flu can be contagious 24 hours before your symptoms appear, so you’re likely out there spreading the virus before you ever know that you have it. Add that to the number of people who try to push through their symptoms and expose others to their germs when they are sick, and it’s easy to see why the flu affects so many people each year.
After symptoms start, adults can spread the virus for five to 10 days. However, the amount of virus spread decreases significantly after three to five days. Adults are most contagious with the flu from 24 hours before symptoms start to three to five days afterward.
Children can spread the virus for longerup to 10 days, and sometimes even beyond that. People who have serious immune system problems can spread influenza for weeks, or even months, after they get it.
Flu symptoms generally don’t come on gradually. More often, people describe the onset of the flu as if they were “hit by a truck.” You feel fine, and then suddenly, an hour later, you feel like you can hardly move. The flu is definitely not just a bad coldit is something else entirely.
Does The Flu Shot Cause Autism
Some people have concerns that the flu vaccine, and other vaccinations, can cause autism.
However, according to the CDC , studies have shown that there is no link between vaccination and autism.
There are many other myths circulating about vaccinations, including the notion that they weaken the immune system, give people flu, or contain unsafe toxins. These claims are not based on scientific evidence.
You May Like: Sanofi High Dose Flu Vaccine
Why Do You Need A Flu Vaccine Every Year
You need a flu vaccine every year for two reasons. First, flu viruses change and the flu vaccine is updated each year to target the flu viruses that are anticipated to spread that year. Second, the protection you get from a flu vaccine lessens with time, especially in older people. Getting your flu vaccine every fall gives you the best protection from that year’s flu viruses.
Protecting Yourself And Others
Most people know they should stay home when they are sick with something like the flu . However, it’s pretty difficult to avoid passing the virus if you don’t even know you have it yet.
This is one of the reasons flu vaccines are so important. If you are vaccinated against the flu, your body will have a chance to fight it off before it spreads in your body and you are less likely to pass it on to other people or get sick yourself.
If you do get sick, stay home.
Know when to call in sick to work, wash your hands frequently, and make sure those that come into contact with you do the same. Cover your cough and do everything you can to avoid being around people that are at high risk for serious complications from the flu.
Preventing the spread of the flu virus is up to all of us. Even if you think it won’t be serious for you if you get it, it might be for someone you pass it to.
Read Also: Safe Flu Medicine While Pregnant
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
What Can You Do If You Get The Flu
If you get the flu, there are steps you can take to feel better. Act fast! First, talk with your health care provider. The flu and COVID-19 have similar symptoms, so you may need to get tested for an accurate diagnosis. This will also help determine which medications might make you feel better.
There are prescription drugs, called antivirals, that are used to treat people with the flu. If you take them within 48 hours after the flu begins, these drugs can make you feel better more quickly. Antivirals can also help reduce your risk of complications from flu. Antibiotics do not help you recover from the flu. Still, they are sometimes prescribed to help you recover from a secondary infection if it is caused by bacteria. Bacteria are a different type of germ than viruses.
If you are sick, rest and drink plenty of fluids like juice and water, but not alcohol. Medicine, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, can bring down your fever and might help with the aches and pains. It is important not to smoke if you are sick with the flu. It is a respiratory illness that can infect your lungs as well as your nasal passages. These same areas are also affected by smoking. Take it easy as much as you can until you are well.
Monitor your symptoms and talk with your doctor if your symptoms worsen or become severe. For example, if you:
Read Also: Does Aetna Cover Flu Shots
How The Flu Spreads
The flu is an infection of the nose, throat and lungs. It’s caused mainly by 2 types of viruses:
The flu spreads very easily from person to person. Even before you notice symptoms, you may spread the virus to others. If you have the virus, you can spread it by:
These actions release tiny droplets that contain the flu virus into the air.
You can become infected if these droplets land on your:
Infection can also happen if you touch any of these body parts after touching surfaces contaminated by infected droplets. Frequently touched surfaces and objects include:
- electronics and tablets
People At Higher Risk Of Flu Complications
Getting an annual flu vaccine is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from flu.
If you are at higher risk of developing serious flu complications, flu vaccination is especially important. When you get vaccinated, you reduce your risk of getting sick with flu and possibly being hospitalized or dying from flu.
- people icon
Following is a list of all the health and age factors that are known to increase a persons risk of getting serious complications from flu:
- Adults 65 years and older
- Children younger than 2 years old1
- Blood disorders
- Chronic lung disease
- Endocrine disorders
- Heart disease
- Kidney diseases
- Metabolic disorders
- People who are obese with a body mass index of 40 or higher
- People younger than 19 years old on long-term aspirin- or salicylate-containing medications.
- People with a weakened immune system due to disease or medications
- People who have had a stroke
Other people at higher risk from flu:
Information on groups at higher risk from COVID-19 is available.
- Legal materials related to flu.
Don’t Miss: Flu Symptoms Loss Of Taste
Dispelling Misinformation About The Flu Vaccine Sickness Treatment And Recovery
If you’ve ever had the , you know how sick you can be. Chances are good that some of the advice friends and family gave you about avoiding or dealing with the flu was wrong. There seems to be no shortage of misinformation and bad advice when it comes to dealing with the flu and the flu shot.
Here are 10 common myths about the flu.
Covid Patients Crowding Out Other Patients In Need
Just as a cresting wave of COVID-19 patients need care, hospitals are facing severe staffing issues because so many are either out sick themselves, caring for family members or quarantining because of an exposure. About one in five hospitals reported having critical staff shortages in data released Wednesday by the Department of Health and Human Services, a USA TODAY analysis found. One in four anticipated critical shortages within the next week. Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky and New Hampshire have less than 10% capacity remaining in their ICUs.
Physicians such as Chicago cancer surgeon Dr. Ryan Merkow must make wrenching decisions about who gets operated on and who must wait. He said Northwestern Memorial Hospital is “full of COVID patients. Our surgical floors have been converted to COVID floors.” Some cancer patients go through chemo and fly in family members to help with recovery.
And then we have to pull the rug out from under them, he said. Read more here.
Elizabeth Weise and Kristen Jordan Shamus
You May Like: Flu Shot Clinics In Ri
Does The Flu Shot Cause Flu
Flu shots contain killed, or inactivated, flu viruses. They are not able to cause flu. These viruses activate the immune system to create proteins called antibodies.
The body stores antibodies and can use them to fight off future flu infections.
As a result, a person might be able to avoid flu completely after receiving the shot, or if they do catch flu, it is more likely to be a mild illness.
The flu shot can cause symptoms similar to those of flu, such as a headache or nausea, but it cannot give the person flu. Learn more here.
Biden Sending Medical Teams To States Overwhelmed By Surge
The federal government is sending medical teams to six states New York, New Jersey, Ohio, Rhode Island, Michigan and New Mexico to help hospitals overburdened by COVID-19, USA TODAY has learned. President Joe Biden announced the deployments Thursday when discussing steps the administration is taking to address a surge in infections driven by the omicron variant.
His remarks come as hospitalizations for COVID-19 are setting records. Some hospitals are delaying elective surgeries as states are deploying National Guard members to health care facilities. Facing pressure from even members of his own party to do more to get the pandemic under control, Biden’s new actions are expected to center on additional manpower.
— Maureen Groppe and Donovan Slack, USA TODAY
Contributing: Mike Stucka, USA TODAY The Associated Press
Also Check: Does Medicare Pay For Flu Shots At Walgreens
Us To Buy Another 500 Million At
The federal government will buy 500 million at-home rapid COVID-19 tests, doubling the purchase the White House announced last month, President Joe Biden said Thursday. Biden spoke about what the administration is doing in response to the current coronavirus surge.
The first batch of 500 million tests, which Biden announced in December, have yet to be distributed. Americans will be able to request tests through an online website that has yet to be unveiled. The tests will be sent to people’s homes.
What Are The Side Effects Of Flu Vaccines
The flu vaccine is safe and cannot give you the flu. Most people have no problem with a flu vaccine.
The most common side effects are soreness, redness, or swelling where you were vaccinated. Some people also get a headache, fever, nausea, or muscle aches. These side effects may start shortly after getting the vaccine and can last up to two days. They typically do not get in the way of daily activities.
Even people with mild egg allergies can safely get most flu vaccines. Egg-free flu vaccines are also available. You should not get vaccinated if you have had a severe allergic reaction to the flu vaccine in the past. Talk with your health care provider about your options for flu vaccines and side effects.
You May Like: Best Children’s Cold And Flu Medicine
More Kids Being Hospitalized But Cases Generally Not Too Severe
More kids in America are testing positive for the coronavirus as the nation hits records in cases and hospitalizations. Children have made up more than 7 million COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began. The U.S. has seen more than 60 million cases overall.
Given the “astonishing number of new infections” in children each day, University of South Florida epidemiology professor Jason Salemi expects to see more children being hospitalized for COVID-19 in the coming weeks. Fortunately, because of the relatively mild symptoms in most omicron patients, the vast majority of these cases won’t be too severe, experts say. You can find details and data on kids and COVID here.
This Is What Getting A Booster Does Against The Omicron Variant
The last two years have been seemingly never-ending with regard to the Covid-19 pandemic. Just as it started to look like we were making a turn for the better with widely available vaccines and the opportunity to get a booster shot, the Omicron variant came out to play and seemingly started spreading like wildfire. And now, just as you were getting ready to make a return to the office or re-plan that long postponed vacation, its starting to feel like March 2020 again, only this time we have vaccines but vaccinated people are getting breakthrough infections anyway. What gives?!
If you thought you might be one and done with your first vaccine dose series of the Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson vaccines, we dont blame you for feeling frustrated about needing another one so soon.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is surging everyone whos eligible to get a booster shot. This is because the boosters are designed to assist the protection given in the original series you received, not only reducing your chances of being infected with Covid at all, but to also cut down on your chances of experiencing severe symptoms and requiring hospitalization if you do come down with the virus.
While the latest headlines around breakthrough infections may prove to be more than a little defeating, experts say there is hope, especially if you take recommended measures to protect yourself and those around you.
You May Like: What To Do If Arm Hurts After Flu Shot
How Does The Vaccine Work
New flu vaccines are developed in preparation for each flu season in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
Flu vaccines can either be inactivated where the virus is essentially “dead” or live attenuated, where the virus is alive, but weakened.
All flu vaccines currently available in Australia are inactivated.
Flu vaccines typically contain three to four strains of the flu two type A strains and one or two type B strains.
As different strains of influenza circulate each flu season, a certain amount of guesswork goes into deciding which strains will be included in the vaccine.
In February and September each year, the World Health Organisation gathers experts and influenza centres from around the world in order to make recommendations on the composition of the next flu vaccine.
Once the World Health Organisation has made its recommendation, the Australian Influenza Vaccine Committee meets with the Therapeutic Goods Administration to confirm which strains will be included in the Australian vaccine.
In addition to the standard flu vaccine, this year there are enhanced flu vaccines available to elderly Australians.
These vaccines include three strains of the virus rather than the usual four, and are designed to target the strains most commonly affecting older people.
Can I Get The Flu Vaccine If I Have An Egg Allergy
The influenza vaccine is typically grown in eggs. But the traces of egg protein that remain after the vaccine is made are so tiny that the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy says both adults and children with egg allergy can be safely vaccinated against the flu. The risk of anaphylaxis after vaccination is very low, estimated at 1.35 cases per 1 million doses.
It is rare for people with egg allergy to experience other side effects, such as hives, wheezing, vomiting or abdominal pain, after getting the flu shot. If you are concerned, ask your doctor if you, or your child, can be observed by staff for 30 minutes after receiving the vaccine .
You May Like: Fred Meyer Flu Shot Age