Youll Be Protecting Yourself And Others
For those unexpected moments when you do have to leave your home, if you are vaccinated from flu, youll be helping to keep others safe from the flu as well.
By protecting ourselves, were also protecting others, says Dr. Aronoff. Every year, people have a choice as to whether to get a flu shot or not. My advice as an infectious disease expert is unless a licensed health care professional advises someone against getting a flu shot, we really should get our flu vaccines every year.
If you do everything you can to avoid getting the flu yourself, youll also be saving valuable medical resources for COVID-19 patients. By getting the flu shot, you even shorten the amount of time youre contagious if you were to get the flu, which means you could be less likely to pass it on to others.
Dont wait much longer: The CDC recommends that you get your flu shot by the end of October, before influenza spreads in your area. That said, even if you get vaccinated later in the flu season, it will still help to protect you and others around you.
What You Need To Know About Pneumonia And Flu Shots
This article was first published in The Montreal Gazette.
Recently, Oprah got pneumonia. Then she went on Ellen to recommend that everyone get their flu and pneumonia shots. Given that only 42 per cent of Canadians over the age of 65 got the pneumonia vaccine in 2016, maybe Oprah can get us over the 80 per cent target.
Sadly, Oprah has not always been a strong advocate for science. She gave a platform to Jenny McCarthy when she started claiming that vaccines caused her sons autism, and she also introduced the world to Dr. Oz.
But as Oprah explained to Ellen, pneumonia is no joke. Around 1.5 million people are hospitalized with pneumonia every year. Around 100,000 die in hospital and a third of people hospitalized with pneumonia die within the year.
Older patients are at greater risk and so are those with pre-existing lung disease. Smoking is also a risk factor for pneumonia, so if you need an extra incentive to stop smoking, this is it. But the main way to prevent pneumonia is with vaccines.
The problem with the pneumonia vaccine is not one of efficacy. A Cochrane meta-analysis of 18 randomized trials found that the pneumonia vaccine led to a substantial reduction in infections. The problem is which pneumonia vaccine to give people.
And if you wont listen to me, at least listen to Oprah.
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Why You Should Still Get A Flu Shot This Year
Nov. 10, 2021 — The flu shot is far less effective than the COVID-19 vaccines, causes more side effects, and targets an infectious disease that most people survive, with the flu killing only a fraction of those who die from coronavirus.
So should you even bother getting a flu shot this year?
Health experts say the short answer is yes.
They point to three key reasons federal health authorities recommend the flu shot for everyone 6 months old and older:
âIt’s really important to reduce the risk of getting the flu, which is what the flu vaccine does,â says Leana Wen, MD, an emergency medicine doctor and public health policy professor at George Washington University. âThis is particularly important this year, when we could very well face the confluence of influenza and COVID-19.â
She notes that flu shots, as well as COVID-19 vaccines, donât protect only those who receive them.
Why Flu Shot Effectiveness Varies
What Can We Expect This Year?
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Should You Get The Flu Shot If You Have Diabetes
Yes, while the flu shot is recommended to anyone six months of age or older, it is especially recommended for people with diabetes. Diabetes Canada and the American Diabetes Association both recommend that people with diabetes should receive an annual influenza vaccination during flu season to reduce the risk of influenza-related hospitalizations and death.
Flu Vaccine For Frontline Health And Social Care Workers
If you’re a frontline health and social care worker, your employer should offer you a flu vaccine. They may give the vaccine at your workplace.
You can also have an NHS flu vaccine at a GP surgery or a pharmacy if:
- you’re a health or social care worker employed by a registered residential care or nursing home, registered homecare organisation or a hospice
- you work in NHS primary care and have direct contact with patients this includes contractors, non-clinical staff and locums
- you provide health or social care through direct payments or personal health budgets, or both
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Can I Get The Flu Vaccine If I Have A Latex Allergy
Influenza vaccines used in Australia dont contain latex and are safe for people with a latex allergy or sensitivity. While the product information for Fluarix Tetra and Fluad Quad state that some presentations of the vaccine cannot be considered latex-free, these presentations are actually not supplied in Australia.
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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People Who Shouldnt Have The Vaccination
Almost everybody can have the vaccine, but you should not be vaccinated if you have ever had a serious allergy to the vaccine, or any of its ingredients. If you are allergic to eggs or have a condition that weakens your immune system, you may not be able to have certain types of flu vaccine check with your GP. If you have a fever, the vaccination may be delayed until you are better.
Wondering If You Need To Make An Appointment For A Flu Shot At A Pharmacy Read This
With flu season around the corner, we’re preparing for potentially one of our history’s most intense flu seasons. And while there are a lot of things you can do to help prevent your chances of catching the nasty bug, getting a flu shot should be at the top of your list. But finding a good time for a pharmacy visit might be a bit tricky, especially as some have eliminated walk-ins altogether. Which poses the question: do you need an appointment to get a flu shot?
For most major pharmacies, the answer is no however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is highly recommended to schedule an appointment to limit contact with other patients and your time within the store.
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People Who Should Get The Vaccine
Some people are at greater risk from the effects of flu and should get the vaccine when offered it. Theres an increased risk if you:
- are pregnant
- are aged 50 or over, even if you feel fit and healthy
- live in a residential or nursing home
- have an illness or underlying health condition
The annual flu vaccination programme also includes:
- pre-school children aged two years and over
- children at primary school and secondary school
- carers if you care for another person, you should ask your GP if you should be vaccinated so you can continue caring for them
- health and social care workers
- staff in independent care homes, hospices and domiciliary care providers
- close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
What Are The Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine
Common side effects of the flu vaccine include: soreness, redness or swelling at the injection site, fever, headache, nausea, and muscle aches.
Less common side effects may include: fainting, Guillain-Barre syndrome , and allergic reactions.
Egg Allergy: Eggs are used in the production of some flu vaccines. Those who experience only hives after eating eggs or egg-containing products may still receive any flu vaccine formulation appropriate for their age and health status. Those with a more severe egg allergy should only receive a flu shot in a medical facility that is prepared to handle a severe allergic reaction .
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Flu Vaccine Side Effects
Flu vaccines are very safe. All adult flu vaccines are given by injection into the muscle of the upper arm.
Most side effects are mild and only last for a day or so, such as:
- slightly raised temperature
- muscle aches
- sore arm where the needle went in this is more likely to happen with the vaccine for people aged 65 and over
Try these tips to help reduce the discomfort:
- continue to move your arm regularly
- take a painkiller, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen some people, including those who are pregnant, should not take ibuprofen unless a doctor recommends it
The Flu Shot Is Effective
The effectiveness of the vaccine varies from season to season. It depends on:
- how well the vaccine matches with the circulating flu viruses
- the health and age of the person getting the flu shot
The viruses circulating in the population can sometimes change during the time it takes to produce a vaccine. When this happens during the flu season, the flu shot may not work as well as expected.
It’s also important to remember that the flu shot protects against several different flu viruses each season. The seasonal flu shot can still provide protection against the remaining 2 or 3 viruses, even when theres:
- a less-than-ideal match
- lower effectiveness against one virus
If you do get the flu, the flu shot may reduce the severity of flu-related complications.
Getting your flu shot is still the most effective way to protect yourself against the flu and flu-related complications.
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The Flu Shot Is Only Partially Effective So What’s The Point
JG: While the CDC estimates that the 2017-18 flu vaccine was about 40% effective, this number can be misleading.
It only measures your risk of being diagnosed with the flu, and it does not consider how the vaccine reduces the severity of symptoms.
Data shows that the flu shot not only reduces your risk of getting the flu, but can also significantly reduce how sick you get. Overall, people who get the flu shot but still get the flu have shorter symptoms and are much less likely to be hospitalized or suffer serious complications.
The Flu Shot Is Necessary Every Year
Just because you may have received the flu shot a few years ago, theres no immunity built up in your system against the virus. The vaccine is altered every year to keep up with the three most prominent and dangerous strains of influenza. Therefore, every year you need to get a shot to protect yourself from the latest strains of the virus.
A flu shot can make your life and the lives of your loved ones a whole lot easier. With a brief needle stick you can be protected from an illness thats not only miserable, but dangerous. Take the possibility of a springtime flu off the table. Besides, arent allergies bad enough?
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Still Getting The Flu
Sometimes you can get the flu shot and still come down with the flu. It takes around 2 weeks after receiving the vaccination for your body to develop immunity. During this time, you can still get catch the flu.
Another reason why you can still catch the flu is if there wasnt a good vaccine match. Researchers need to decide which strains to include in the vaccine many months before flu season actually starts.
When theres not a good match between the selected strains and the strains that actually end up circulating during flu season, the vaccine isnt as effective.
Should I Get My Child Vaccinated
Yes, a flu vaccine offers the best defense against getting the flu and spreading it to others. Children younger than 5 years of age especially those younger than 2 years old are at high risk of serious flu-related complications.
Flu vaccination has been found to reduce deaths in children. A study in Pediatrics was the first of its kind to show that influenza vaccination is effective in preventing influenza-associated deaths among children.
Nationally, a total of 199 pediatric deaths had been reported to CDC during the 2019-2020 season.
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Who Should Have The Flu Shot
The Australian Government recommends that everyone over the age of 6 months has a flu vaccination every year.
Its difficult to predict who will catch influenza , or who will become seriously ill from it. The flu can require hospitalisation and can even be fatal.
Getting vaccinated against the flu helps protect both you and the people around you. Its particularly important to protect vulnerable people in the community who cant be vaccinated, such as babies who are younger than 6 months and adults with low immunity.
When To Get The Flu Shot
Flu season typically runs from late fall to early spring.
Flu shots are now available for all Ontarians. You should get a flu shot as soon as possible because it takes two weeks to take effect.
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization now recommends that COVID-19 vaccines may be given at the same time as the flu vaccine.
Talk to your doctor or pharmacy to learn more.
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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
Protecting Yourself And Loved Ones During Your Visit
Duke has precautions are in place to keep you and your family safe when you come in for your flu vaccine. Masks are required for anyone over two years old, and social distancing measures are in place. If you dont have a mask, one will be provided. Please note visitor restrictions that may be in place.
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What Should I Do If I Get Sick
Common flu symptoms may include fever or chills, muscle aches, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, headache and fatigue/tiredness. If you have flu symptoms and are in a high risk group, contact your healthcare provider. If you are not in a high risk group but have symptoms, get plenty of rest and drink fluids, manage symptoms with Over-the-counter medications when appropriate.
OTC medications like acetaminophen and ibuprofen can be used to treat fever, headache, body aches, and sore throat.
What Flu Vaccine Should I Get
Different flu vaccines are approved for use in different groups of people. There are flu shots approved for use in children as young as 6 months of age and flu shots approved for use in adults 65 years and older. Flu shots also are recommended for use in pregnant women and people with chronic health conditions. The nasal spray flu vaccine is approved for use in non-pregnant individuals, 2 years through 49 years of age. People with some medical conditions should not receive the nasal spray flu vaccine. Your provider will know which flu vaccine is best for you.
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Find A Flu Shot Location Near You
If you have a UnitedHealthcare health plan, you can get a flu shot at more than 50,000 locations.
Enter your ZIP code and select a pharmacy in your area, then select Find my flu shot to see results within a 20-mile radius from the center of your ZIP code.
Please note: If you’re using a screen reader, please select Participating pharmacies, then select a pharmacy to find a location near you.
Is It Safe To Get Both Shots At Once
According to the CDC, current guidance has shown that COVID-19 vaccines can be coadministered with other vaccines, including influenza vaccines.
Lisa Grohskopf, MD, MPH, a medical officer in the influenza division at CDC, tells Verywell that while weve said recently when asked that its safe to get both vaccines, this is the first published notice.
The CDCs recommendation to give both shots at the same vaccine appointment is an update to previous guidance, which stated that people should wait 14 days between the COVID-19 and other vaccines.
According to the CDC, the guidance changed because experience with other vaccines has shown that the way our bodies develop protection, known as an immune response, after getting vaccinated and possible side effects of vaccines are generally the same when given alone or with other vaccines.
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