Why Should People Get Vaccinated Against Flu
Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death. Every flu season is different, and flu can affect people differently, but millions of people get flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year. Flu can mean a few days of feeling bad and missing work or it can result in more serious illness. Complications of flu can include bacterial pneumonia, ear infections, sinus infections and worsening of chronic medical conditions, such as congestive heart failure, asthma, or diabetes. An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children. While some people who get a flu vaccine may still get sick, flu vaccination has been shown in several studies to reduce severity of illness.
For Adults And Children
This vaccine schedule involves three doses within 2 months, followed by a booster dose at 1 year.
The initial accelerated doses provide immediate protection from HBV, and the booster dose helps provide long-term protection.
Below is the accelerated vaccination schedule approved for both adults and children:
|2 months after the first dose||1 year after the first dose|
The Flu Vaccine Helps Protect You And Your Family From The Flu
Millions of people get influenza every year. While it may be common, seasonal flu is a potentially serious disease. It can lead to hospitalization and even death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .1 Thats why its recommended to get a flu vaccine every year to help protect yourself and your family.2 The flu vaccine can help:
- Weaken or prevent the flu
- Reduce the risk of having to go to the doctor with flu by 40 percent to 60 percent during seasons when the flu vaccine viruses are similar to circulating flu viruses1
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Why Do People Still Get The Flu When They Get A Flu Shot
There are several reasons a person may get sick after receiving a flu shot.
Some people may think that they have the flu when they are ill due to a different viral or bacterial infection. This is because many flu symptoms are similar to those of the common cold, which can also occur during flu season.
It takes about 2 weeks for a person to develop immunity to the flu after receiving a flu shot. During this time, it is possible that a person could be exposed to the flu virus and become sick.
The flu vaccine represents researchers best predictions about which flu virus strains will be most prevalent for that year. However, a person can still come into contact with a strain of flu virus that they are not immunized against.
Combination Vaccines And Fda Licensure
Only combination vaccines licensed by FDA should be used . Vaccination providers should not combine separate vaccines into the same syringe to administer together unless mixing is indicated for the patients age and is explicitly specified on the FDA-approved product label inserts. Only 2 combination vaccines, contain separate antigen components for which FDA approves mixing by the user. The safety, immunogenicity, and effectiveness of unlicensed combinations are unknown.
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Conjugate Vaccine Carrier Proteins
Protein conjugates used in Hib conjugate vaccines produced in the United States include tetanus toxoid which is also used as a component of DTaP and Tdap vaccines . Simultaneous or sequential vaccination with Hib and these tetanus-toxoid containing vaccines is recommended when both are indicated . MCV4 and PCV13 both contain diphtheria-toxoid conjugates. There has been concern about simultaneous administration of vaccines containing like conjugates. One brand of MCV4, MenACWY-D , demonstrates reduced immunogenicity of the antibody response to Streptococcal pneumonia strains when administered simultaneously with PCV13 compared with separate administration. It is recommended to space these vaccines by 28 days in a person with anatomic asplenia . Simultaneous or sequential vaccination of MCV4-CRM , PCV13, and Tdap , all of which contain diphtheria toxoid, is not associated with reduced immunogenicity or increase in local adverse events.
Who Should Get An Influenza Vaccine
- Everyone 6 months of age and older should get a yearly influenza vaccination with rare exception.
- Vaccination is especially important for people who are at high risk of serious illness from influenza and those able to transmit or spread influenza to those at high risk.
- Influenza vaccination is free for everyone six months and older in BC for the 2021-2022 influenza season.
- In BC, influenza vaccines are usually available in October. For your best protection, get immunized as soon as possible.
- The influenza vaccine is your best defense against influenza.
- There are two main types of influenza vaccines, the inactivated influenza vaccine, and the live attenuated influenza vaccine.
- Several different types of inactivated influenza vaccines and one type of live attenuated influenza vaccine are available in BC.
- The vaccines protect against either 3 strains of influenza or 4 strains of influenza .
- Your health care provider can tell you which vaccine is recommended for you.
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What Is Hepatitis B
Hepatitis B is a highly contagious liver infection caused by the hepatitis B virus . The infection can range in severity from mild to acute. It may last just a few weeks or become a serious, chronic, and potentially fatal health condition.
The best way to prevent this infection is to get the hepatitis B vaccine. Heres what you need to know.
Who Should Get The Hbv Vaccine
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that all children and adults up to age 59 should receive the hepatitis B vaccine.
Infants should get their first hepatitis B vaccine within 24 hours of birth and complete their doses by age 6 to 18 months.
All unvaccinated children and adults through age 59 should receive the vaccine. Also, unvaccinated adults over the age 60 who are at risk of hepatitis B should get the vaccine.
Adults over age 60 who are not at risk of hepatitis B may also choose to get the shot.
Several types of the HBV vaccine are also safe to administer to pregnant women.
- people who have had more than one sex partner in the last 6 months
- men who have sex with men
- people seeking treatment for a sexually transmitted infection
- people whose partners or household members have hepatitis B
- people who inject drugs
- people who live or work in care facilities
- people who are on dialysis
- travelers to countries where hepatitis B is common
- people with chronic liver disease, HIV, or hepatitis C
- people who are in jail or prison
People who have diabetes should talk with a healthcare professional about their risk for contracting hepatitis B.
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Where Can I Get An Influenza Vaccine
Influenza vaccines are provided at a wide variety of locations across the province, including:
- Pharmacies .
- Doctors’ offices
- Travel clinics
Services vary by location. You can use our influenza clinic locator to find an influenza vaccine clinic near you.
To find a pharmacy offering the influenza vaccine near you, please visit this link. You may be able to book your influenza vaccine online or by phone, and some pharmacies are accepting walk-ins.
Spacing Of Multiple Doses Of The Same Antigen
Vaccination providers should adhere to recommended vaccination schedules . Administration at recommended ages and in accordance with recommended intervals between doses of multidose antigens provides optimal protection.
Administration of doses of a multidose vaccine using intervals that are shorter than recommended might be necessary in certain circumstances, such as impending international travel or when a person is behind schedule on vaccinations but needs rapid protection. In these situations, an accelerated schedule can be implemented using intervals between doses that are shorter than intervals recommended for routine vaccination . The accelerated or minimum intervals and ages for scheduling catch-up vaccinations. Vaccine doses should not be administered at intervals less than these minimum intervals or at an age that is younger than the minimum age.*
Certain vaccines produce increased rates of local or systemic reactions in certain recipients when administered more frequently than recommended . Careful record keeping, maintenance of patient histories, use of immunization information systems , and adherence to recommended schedules can decrease the incidence of such reactions without adversely affecting immunity.
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What Are The Side Effects
The most common of the hepatitis B vaccine are mild and include:
- Low fever or,
- Sore arm from the shot.
Prepare for your child’s vaccine visit and learn about how you can:
- Research vaccines and ready your child before the visit
- Comfort your child during the appointment
- Care for your child after the shot
How Effective Is The Seasonal Flu Shot
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.
- Flu vaccination can keep you from getting sick with flu.
- 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.
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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. Types of Vaccines
Common And Local Adverse Events
HB vaccine is well tolerated. Reactions are generally mild and transient, and include: irritability, headache, fatigue and injection site reactions in 10% or more of recipients.
There is no increase in adverse events when HAHB vaccine is compared with HA vaccine given alone or concomitantly with HB vaccine at a different injection site. When the adult formulation of HAHB vaccine is given to children in the 2 dose schedule, there is no increase in adverse events compared with those occurring after administration of the pediatric formulation of HAHB vaccine.
Reactions are usually mild and transient, and include fever, irritability, restlessness and injection site reactions .
Headache, diarrhea, fever, urticaria, angioedema and injection site reactions may occur.
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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 several 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 flu patients.
- Another study in 2018 showed that a vaccinated adult who was hospitalized with flu was 59% less likely to be admitted to an intensive care unit 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.
In addition, its important to remember that flu vaccine protects against three or four different viruses and multiple viruses usually circulate during any one season. For these reasons, CDC continues to recommend flu vaccination for everyone 6 months and older even if vaccine effectiveness against one or more viruses is reduced.
How Does The Flu Shot Protect You
The flu shot prompts your immune system to produce antibodies against a specific strain of the flu. If youre exposed to this particular flu virus later, youll already have antibodies ready to fight off the virus.
It usually takes about 2 weeks to build up your immunity to a flu virus after youve been vaccinated against it.
Youll have the most antibodies 1 to 2 months later. After this time, your protection begins to decline. Thats why you need a flu shot every year.
Each years vaccine is based on which strains are most likely to spread during that flu season.
The vaccine wont protect you from every strain. But if you do get sick, itll likely be less severe due to the vaccine.
The 2020-21 flu season may be complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The overlap of these two viral illnesses threatens to overburden hospitals, which typically get an influx of patients who have complications from the seasonal flu.
Getting your flu shot can help lower your risk of flu complications that could put you in the hospital.
Most people have little to no reaction following the vaccine. Theres no live virus in the flu shot, so it cant give you the flu.
Some people have a temporary reaction at the injection site, such as:
Normally, you can get a flu vaccine at your doctors office, your local pharmacy, or even at a walk-in retail clinic.
Some employers even provide flu shots for their employees at their workplace.
- Contact your
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Are Any Of The Available Flu Vaccines Recommended Over Others
Yes, for some people. For the 2022-2023 flu season, there are three flu vaccines that are preferentially recommended for people 65 years and older. These are Fluzone High-DoseQuadrivalent vaccine, Flublok Quadrivalent recombinantflu vaccine or Fluad Quadrivalent adjuvanted flu vaccine. On June 22, 2022, CDCs Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted unanimously to preferentially recommend these vaccines overstandard-dose unadjuvanted flu vaccines. This recommendation was based on a review of available studies which suggests that, in this age group, these vaccines are potentially more effective than standard dose unadjuvanted flu vaccines. There is no preferential recommendation for people younger than 65 years.
Who Shouldnt Get Vaccinated
If youre currently feeling sick, its best to wait until youre better.
Avoid the flu shot if you have a severe allergy to any of the ingredients that may be used in the vaccine, such as:
- egg protein
- monosodium glutamate , a stabilizer that keeps vaccines from losing their potency
- antibiotics, such as neomycin and gentamicin
- polysorbate 80, an emulsifier which keeps the ingredients from separating
- formaldehyde, which inactivates the flu virus
Babies under 6 months old shouldnt be vaccinated.
If youve had Guillain-Barré syndrome, talk to your doctor before getting the flu vaccine.
The nasal spray contains a weakened live virus. It shouldnt be taken by people who:
- are younger than 2 or older than 50 years
- are 2 to 4 years old and have asthma
- are 2 to 17 years old and take medications containing aspirin or salicylate
- are pregnant
- have life threatening allergies to the flu vaccine
- have a suppressed immune system
- are in close contact with someone with a suppressed immune system
- have taken antiviral drugs for the flu within the previous 48 hours
Talk to your doctor about the pros and cons of the nasal spray vaccine if you have:
- asthma or chronic lung disease
- a blood disorder
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Persons New To Canada
Health care providers who see persons newly arrived in Canada should review the immunization status and update immunization for these individuals, as necessary. In many countries outside of Canada, HB vaccine is in limited use.
All persons from a country that is endemic for HB should be assessed and vaccinated against HB if not immune and not infected. Individuals born in developing countries are more likely to be carriers of HB, necessitating vaccination of their sexual and household contacts based on review of their serologic test results. HB vaccine is recommended for all household contacts whose families have immigrated to Canada from areas in which there is a high prevalence of HB and who may be exposed to HB carriers through their extended families or when visiting their country of origin.
Children adopted from countries in which there is a high prevalence of HB infection should be screened for HBsAg and, if positive, household or close contacts in the adopting family should be immunized before adoption or as soon as possible thereafter. Adults going to pick-up children from these countries should be vaccinated before departure. Refer to Immunization of Persons New to Canada in Part 3 for additional information.