Monday, March 20, 2023

Do You Get Your Flu Shot Every Year

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Considerations For Getting A Covid

Why Do I Need to Get a Flu Shot Every Year? | #FluFacts with Dr. Nori

Its safe for your health care provider to administer a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines. If youre 12 years of age or older, you may get the flu shot at the same time as a COVID-19 vaccine. You may also get it any time before or after you receive the flu shot.

For children aged 5 to 11, the National Advisory Council on Immunization recommends a 14-day interval between a COVID-19 vaccine and other vaccines. This is to help better monitor for possible side effects from COVID-19 vaccines. Provinces and territories will decide on an interval for this age group as part of their vaccination programs.

Talk to a health care provider or consult your provincial or territorial public health authority for the latest guidance.

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What Protection Does A Flu Vaccine Provide If I Do Get Sick With Flu

  • Some people who get vaccinated may still get sick. However, flu vaccination has been shown in some studies to reduce severity of illness in people who get vaccinated but still get sick. A 2017 study showed that flu vaccination reduced deaths, intensive care unit admissions, ICU length of stay, and overall duration of hospitalization among hospitalized adults with flu. Another study in 2018 showed that a vaccinated adult who was hospitalized with flu was 59 percent less likely to be admitted to the ICU than someone who had not been vaccinated. Among adults in the ICU with flu, vaccinated patients on average spent 4 fewer days in the hospital than those who were not vaccinated.

The Importance Of Social Distancing

Two reasons that last flu season was such a quiet one: social distancing and improved hygiene, says Dr. Rehm. Last year, the use of face masks, social distancing and paying more attention to hand-washing all impacted the lower rates of flu and other respiratory viruses, she says.

All of these things are still part of our strategy going forward, not just to prevent COVID-19 and the flu, but other viruses, too, she adds. Having robust vaccines adds to these levels of protection.

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Does The Flu Vaccine Interfere With The Covid

No, says both Rivard and Dr. Rehm. In fact, if you havent received a COVID-19 vaccination yet or are receiving a third dose, you can receive it at the same time as your flu vaccine.

All available COVID-19 vaccines can be given at the same time as the flu vaccine, says Rivard. If someone is coming in for their flu shot and theyre eligible for COVID-19 vaccine but havent received it yet, we can offer that.

If youre receiving one of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines , which require two doses, you can receive the flu vaccine alongside either the first or second dose. Both the CDC and the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommend co-administering almost any two vaccines together, Rivard adds.

She adds that there are very few instances in which certain vaccines cant be administered at the same time, noting that children often receive multiple vaccines during one visit to a pediatrician.

And theres no concern about overloading our immune systems with multiple vaccines, notes Dr. Rehm. Were exposed to things that stimulate our immune system all the time, she says. Our immune system is constantly responding to various exposures even if you dont realize it.

When Is The Flu Vaccine Given

POLL: Do you get the flu shot?

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 Aotearoa New Zealand, this is between April and June. It takes around 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 vaccinated in time for winter.

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Flu Vaccine During Pregnancy

If you are pregnant, you should get the flu vaccine as soon as possible.This is because pregnant people are more at risk of complications from flu.

If you are pregnant through two flu seasons , you may needto get two flu vaccines . Readmore about the flu vaccine during pregnancy.

You may be able to get the flu vaccine on the same day as the whoopingcough vaccine.

Myth #: Healthy People Dont Die From The Flu

Although it is true that people with underlying health conditions such as asthma, heart disease, diabetes, or cancer have a greater risk of flu-related complications and death, plenty of otherwise healthy adults and children wind up in the hospital from influenza. Some even die from the disease, making arguments against the flu vaccine thin on this ground.

But lets assume for a second that you have only mild symptoms, or youre among the 20 to 30 percent of flu carriers who have no symptoms at all. Even so, you can spread influenza to others who may not be so lucky they could become extremely ill or even die. The best way to protect yourself and those around you is clear: Get an annual flu vaccine.

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What Is The Flu Vaccine

The influenza vaccine is used to prevent infection caused by the influenza virus. The flu can cause serious illness, especially in young children, older adults and people with chronic health problems, but anyone can become seriously ill from the flu virus. Even if you are not feeling sick, you could still be infected with the flu virus and pass it on to others. Read more about the flu.Vaccination is the best way to prevent infection and reduce the seriousness of illness if you become infected. If you do get the flu after being vaccinated, you usually get a mild form of it, recover faster and are less likely to have serious complications.

Being vaccinated causes your body to produce antibodies against the flu virus. This means your body can respond faster and more effectively to the flu. By coming across a non-infectious version of the virus in the vaccine first, it learns to recognise it. When it comes across it again, your body can react much faster and in a more effective way.

Myth #: You Dont Need A Flu Shot Every Year

Why do I need to get a flu shot every year?

Sometimes patients get the flu shot in February then come into my office in September and say they dont need another vaccine because they got it in February, Lopez says. I tell them this is a different flu season, so they need it again.

In these cases, people are assuming that their bodies will still have enough immune protection to carry them through another flu season unscathed. However, even when the influenza strains targeted by a new vaccine are the same as those included in the previous seasons shot, immune protection declines over time. Whatever defense you have leftover from last flu season may not be enough to stop you from getting sick this go-around.

When we look at individuals who get the flu shot every year versus those who skip years, there is proof that it is beneficial to get vaccinated every single year, Lopez says.

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Healthwhich Flu Vaccine Should You Get

There are also different formulations, including a live but weakened version of the virus in the needle-free Flumist nasal spray, and inactivated or partial flu viruses in the shots.

Overall, there was little difference among kids vaccinated for the first time and those vaccinated for one or two years previously, the team found.

Prior-season vaccination was not associated with reduced vaccine effectiveness, they wrote. These findings support current recommendations for annual influenza vaccination of children.

Earlier this year, a different team found that repeat vaccinations also protected the elderly.

Americans do not clamor for flu vaccines. On Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that just 37 percent of Americans overall got the flu vaccine last season which, as it turned out, was the deadliest influenza season in decades. Close to 80,000 people died of flu in 2017-2018, the CDC estimates.

Who Should Not Get A Flu Shot

Children younger than six months old and people with certain health conditions should not get a flu shot, the CDC advises.

These health conditions include:

  • A severe allergic reaction to a previous flu shot. According to a 2016 study, for every one million flu shots given, there were about 1.3 severe allergic reactions, such as tongue or throat swelling, shortness of breath, or vomiting.
  • Egg allergies. Although the most common flu vaccine contains viruses grown in eggs, people with mild allergic symptoms like hives can safely get it, according to the CDC. If you have a severe allergy, two egg-free flu vaccines are available. You can also get a regular flu shot as long as it’s in a medical setting such as a doctor’s office or clinic, and is supervised by a health care provider who can treat an anaphylactic reaction.
  • A fever. If you have a fever over 99.5°F, you might want to wait to get a flu shot. Your immune system is already producing antibodies to fight infection, so the vaccine may not be as effective. However, if you have a cold with no fever, it’s safe to get a flu shot.
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome . This is a rare neurological disorder that causes your immune system to damage your nerve cells. Its exact cause is unknown, but it often develops after a respiratory illness or the flu. It is very rare to get GBS after a flu shot, according to the CDC. If you already have GBS, talk to your doctor before getting a flu shot.

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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 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 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 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 correct methods, they found that flu vaccination did not increase risk for infection with other respiratory viruses, including seasonal coronaviruses.

Factors In Flu Shot Effectiveness

How to Prevent the Spread of Flu Germs

Influenza viruses are constantly changing and evolving rapidly. Circulating influenza viruses can mutate from one season to the next.

Researchers need to select the specific influenza viruses to include in the vaccine many months before flu season begins. This means whats in the vaccine may not always match whats actually circulating during flu season. This can decrease the effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine.

Age can also play a role in vaccine efficacy because your immune system tends to become weaker as you age. The Food and Drug Administration has approved a high-dose flu vaccine for people 65 and older.

The higher dose is aimed at providing a better immune response and therefore better protection within this age group. for those over 65 with the high-dose vaccine.

The CDC also recommends that some children between the ages of 6 months and 8 years receive two doses of the influenza vaccine during the first season in which theyre vaccinated in order to have sufficient protection.

Its still possible to get the flu after being vaccinated, but research has shown that the illness may be less severe and that people who receive a flu shot may be less likely to be admitted to the hospital if they get the flu.

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Types Of Flu Vaccines

For most people, one dose of the standard flu shot can be administered with a needle, for people five and older, or with a jet injector for people 18-64. Flu shots dont always have to be delivered with a needle. The elderly may also benefit from a high-dose vaccine that offers extra protection.

Nasal sprays that deliver the flu vaccine are available.

Will I Always Need To Get The Flu Shot Every Year

We hope not. Research is ongoing to create a universal flu shot. This universal flu vaccine would, in theory, help your body create antibodies against the part of the flu virus that does not change every year. Right now, yearly vaccines target those proteins on the surface of the flu vaccine that mutate throughout the flu season. In theory, this new universal vaccine would protect you against current strains of the flu virus as well as future mutations of the flu virus.

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Does The Flu Shot Last Only A Few Months

Unfortunately, yes, says Monjur Alam, MD, a primary care physician at UC San Diego. The virus changes every year, so you need to get a new shot every year. The immune response from the vaccine also typically lasts about six to eight months and then weans off, Dr. Alam says. So basically, one flu shot should cover you for that flu season.

Myth #: The Flu Shot Doesnt Work

Why do we need a flu shot every year?

Plenty of research shows that the flu vaccine, while not perfect, does indeed work. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention , when the vaccine is well-matched against the viruses circulating that year, it slashes the risk of flu illness between 40% and 60%.

Typically, when people claim the flu shot isnt effective or try to argue why you shouldnt get a flu shot, its because they or someone they know got the flu shot but still got sick. The CDC offers up a few explanations for this. For one, they may have been sickened by a different virus, such as rhinovirus, which can cause flu-like symptoms. Or, if they really did get the flu, its likely because they were exposed to the virus shortly before being vaccinated or during the two weeks post-vaccination that are required for the body to build up immunity. Another possibility is they contracted an influenza strain other than those included in the vaccine.

There is also a small chance of getting the flu even when the vaccine is a close match. I wish we could create a vaccine to eradicate this virus forever, but the problem is were dealing with a very sophisticated organism that is constantly mutating, says Eduardo Lopez, MD, head of the nephrology department at Kaiser Permanentes Panorama City Medical Center in California. We try to prepare a cocktail of different antigens every year based on data, and even though it may not be a perfect match, youre better off getting vaccinated.

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The Flu Vaccine Is The Most Effective Way To Prevent Illness Caused By Seasonal Influenza Viruses

The CDC estimates that the flu vaccine reduces a persons risk of developing flu-related illness serious enough to require a doctors visit by 61 percent. The effectiveness of the flu vaccine may vary from year to year based on several factors, including how closely the flu vaccine matches circulating flu strains.

How To Get Your Flu Shot In 3 Easy Steps

  • Find a flu shot location nearby. In addition to your doctor’s office, you can get a flu shot at drugstores like CVS and Walgreens, and at pharmacies in major retailers such as Walmart and Costco. You can find a location near you by visiting VaccineFinder.
  • Check your insurance. If you have health insurance, your flu shot will be free. If you don’t have insurance, some employers and colleges offer free flu shots. Your county health department may also provide free shots, especially for seniors.
  • Make sure you bring ID. When you go to get your flu shot, bring your health insurance ID card, if you have one. You may need to also show your driver’s license or other ID.
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    Can A Flu Vaccine Give Me Flu

    • No, a flu vaccine cannot cause flu illness. Flu vaccines that are administered with a needle are currently made in two ways: the vaccine is made either with a) flu vaccine viruses that have been killed and are therefore not infectious, or b) with proteins from a flu vaccine virus instead of flu vaccine viruses . Nasal spray vaccine is made with attenuated live flu viruses, and also cannot cause flu illness. The weakened viruses are cold-adapted, which means they are designed to only cause infection at the cooler temperatures found within the nose. The viruses cannot infect the lungs or other areas where warmer temperatures exist.

    Understand The Function Of The Flu Shot

    Ask Well: How Long Does a Flu Shot Last?

    Flu shots work by stimulating your body to develop antibodies that protect you from the most common strains of the flu. The flu vaccine doesnt contain live viruses, but it is full of flu viruses that have been inactivated and cant cause infection. As a result, you experience an immune response and build up resistance to certain strains of the flu without actually experiencing illness or infection.

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