Sunday, September 24, 2023

Does The Flu Shot Change Every Year

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Can A Flu Vaccine Give Me Flu

How often should you get a flu shot? – Melvin Sanicas
  • 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 . The 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.

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.

Is It Ok To Get A Flu Shot At A Retail Store Or Clinic Instead Of My Physician S Office

Yes. Influenza vaccines are now widely available at pharmacies, workplace flu clinics, retirement homes and many more places. You should get vaccinated at the place that ismost convenient for you.

Indication and Safety Information:

FLUZONE® High-Dose Quadrivalent

FLUZONE® Quadrivalent

FLUZONE® Quadrivalent is a vaccine used to prevent influenza caused by the 4 strains of influenza virus contained in the vaccine. This vaccine may be given to adults and children 6 months of age and older. Persons with a history of severe allergic reaction to eggs or egg products or any component of FLUZONE® Quadrivalent should not receive the vaccine. FLUZONE® Quadrivalent will only protect against the strains of influenza virus contained in the vaccine or those that are closely related. It will not protect against any other strains of influenza virus. As with any vaccine, immunization with influenza vaccine may not protect 100% of individuals. Because flu viruses change over time, annual influenza vaccination is recommended for influenza. Some persons may experience side effects and allergic reactions. The most common are soreness at the site of injection and muscle pain, and infants may suffer from irritability. Most patients recover. Talk to your healthcare provider to ensure that FLUZONE® Quadrivalent is right for you. For more information, visit

  • This website is for Canadian residents only.

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Groups Who Should Especially Get The Vaccine

The flu shot can protect you against the flu. Because of this, it can reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time. This can lead to serious complications. You should especially receive the flu vaccine this season if youre:

  • at high risk of severe COVID-19 related illness
  • capable of spreading the flu to those at high risk of severe illness related to COVID-19

The flu vaccine is especially important for the following groups.

How Does The Flu Shot Work How It Protects Against The Flu And Why It Changes Every Year

Why You Need the Flu Shot Every Year
  • The flu shot works by introducing your body to antigens, which produces antibodies that can help your immune system fight off a flu infection.
  • The flu shot is made of inactivated flu viruses, so it can help you build immunity without actually making you sick.
  • Flu viruses are constantly mutating, so the vaccine is updated annually based on researchers’ best guess of which virus strains will be circulating among people in a given season.
  • This article was medically reviewed by Jason R. McKnight, MD, MS, a family medicine physician and clinical assistant professor at Texas A& M College of Medicine.

While the world continues to figure out how to get the COVID-19 pandemic in check, another viral menace is just around the corner: influenza season. Luckily, scientists have a much better handle on how the flu works, and vaccination greatly reduces your chances of getting sick or spreading it to others.

Read Also: Can High Dose Flu Shot Be Given To Under 65

How Effective Is The Nhs Flu Immunisation Programme

The flu vaccine works better in some years than others . Across all age groups including children, the flu vaccine prevented 15-52% of flu cases between 2015 – 2020 . Due to low levels of circulating influenza in the 2020-21 flu season, it has not been possible to determine vaccine effectiveness for this time period.

Protection from the flu virus varies for different age groups. In children aged 2-17, the flu vaccine prevented 66% of flu cases in 2016-17, 27% of flu cases in 2017-18, and 49% of flu cases in 2018-19. However, in the over 65 age group the inactivated flu vaccine worked less well than it did in other adults and children. In 2016-17, the data suggest that the inactivated flu vaccine did not work at all in people aged over 65, whilst in 2017-2018 it resulted in slightly better results in that age group. Due to the lower effectiveness of the inactivated flu vaccine in older people, a vaccine containing an adjuvant was introduced for the 2018-19 season. This is a substance that strengthens and lengthens the immune response to the vaccine and resulted in better prevention of flu in people aged 65 or over in flu seasons since 2018-19. The adjuvanted vaccine is still recommended for this age group in the 2022-23 season.

It is not understood why flu vaccines do not work so well in older adults. However, this reinforces the importance of vaccinating children and healthcare workers, both of whom can help to stop the spread of flu to older adults.

Chasing A Forever Flu Shot

Rethinking the current strategy, teams of researchers around the world, including Sachas lab, are pursuing influenza vaccines that provide better protection from various strains of influenza. The ultimate goal to have a world where people dont head in for their yearly vaccines. Instead, this shot would provide lifelong immunity something thats evaded scientists for decades.

The moonshot is a once-in-a-lifetime shot that gives you universal lifelong protection against influenza, Sacha says. If we hit that, its not even a home run. I dont know what youd call that its like a solar system run. Thats absolutely stunning.

“The moonshot is a once-in-a-lifetime shot that gives you universal lifelong protection against influenza.

His team is using a different virus, cytomegalovirus , as a stealth vector to teach the body to better defend against influenza. CMV is an extremely common virus, which rarely causes issues in healthy people and elicits T-cell production and storage in the lungs. T-cells are the soldiers of the immune system, which could be rapidly deployed upon flu infection.

If successful, Sachas vaccine would create a permanent reserve of immune system cells stored in the lungs, ready to attack influenza and stop it before it spreads. The idea may seem too good to be true, but Sacha says preclinical studies in HIV and tuberculosis using a similar approach have been promising. His influenza vaccine design is building off these insights.

Read Also: Does Target Give Flu Shots

Are You Still Covered From Last Year

Maggie ONeill is a health writer and reporter based in New York who specializes in covering medical research and emerging wellness trends, with a focus on cancer and addiction. Prior to her time at Health, her work appeared in the Observer, Good Housekeeping, CNN, and Vice. She was a fellow of the Association of Health Care Journalists 2020 class on Womens Health Journalism and 2021 class on Cancer Reporting. In her spare time, she likes meditating, watching TikToks, and playing fetch with her dog, Finnegan.

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If you find yourself with those typical flu-like symptomsfever, chills, nasal congestion, the worksyou might start worrying that you’ve come down with the flu .

But wait…didn’t you get the flu shot last year? And if that’s the case, how long does a flu shot last, exactlyand are you still covered? To help you figure things out, Health spoke with a few infectious disease experts to find out how long you’re covered with a flu shot, and what that means for when you should get your next one.

Can My Child Get The Flu Vaccine At The Same Time As Another Childhood Vaccine Including The Covid

Why we need a better flu shot

Yes. It is safe to get the seasonal flu vaccine at the same time as any childhood vaccine, including the COVID-19 vaccine. Many children are behind with their childhood vaccines or boosters because of the COVID-19 pandemic and getting the vaccines at the same time can help them catch up more quickly.

For children 5 to 11 years old, it may be best to wait at least 14 days between the COVID-19 and other vaccines. The reason for this is that if any side effects happen, doctors will know which vaccine they are related to. But only space out vaccines if you are sure that no other vaccines your child needs will be given late.

Recommended Reading: Fun Facts About The Flu

Everyone 6 Months And Older Should Get The Flu Shot

The flu shot is your best defence against the flu. The flu shot is recommended for everyone 6 months of age and older.

It can save lives by:

  • protecting you, if you’re exposed to the virus
  • preventing you from getting very sick
  • protecting people close to you:
  • because you’re less likely to spread the virus
  • who are at higher risk of serious flu complications if they get the flu
  • reducing additional burden on the health care system during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • reduce your chances of being infected with COVID-19 and the flu at the same time, which could lead to more serious complications
  • The flu shot wont protect you against COVID-19.

    Staying Safe While Getting The Flu Shot

    COVID-19 has likely put infectious diseases nearer the top of our priority list. However, the fact that we are still in the middle of a pandemic may cause significant worry to some people who are thinking about getting a flu shot.

    It is essential to stay safe while getting the vaccination.

    We are many months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and public health measures, particularly in healthcare settings, do make a difference.

    I got my flu shot last week. As I am not eligible for a free flu shot in the U.K., I opted to go to my local pharmacy. Equipped, of course, with my face covering, I was in and out in 10 minutes, having paid £13 for the vaccine.

    If you live in the U.K., you can get in touch with your GP practice or ask at your local pharmacy about the best time and place to get your flu shot.

    In the U.S., you may be able to get your flu shot through your employer, your health plan, or your local pharmacy or supermarket. You can also look for a suitable location near you on the VaccineFinder website.

    Wherever you decide to have the flu shot, find out about the COVID-19 prevention measures in place if you are worried. Ensure that you take your face covering on the day and follow the advice given at the location.

    As we are learning every day during the COVID-19 pandemic, stopping the spread of infectious diseases needs a concerted effort. Getting a flu vaccine can reduce the chance of developing flu not just for the person having a shot, but also for others in their community.

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    What Is The Flu

    Influenza is a highly contagious respiratory illness thats caused by the influenza virus. There are two main types of influenza virus: type A and type B. These main types are further subdivided into multiple subtypes and strains, including the well-known H1N1 strain. The effect each of these strains may have on you depends on your age and overall health.

    If you have the flu, symptoms may include:

    • Chills
    • Headaches
    • Fatigue

    In more extreme cases, you may experience vomiting and diarrhea. Although symptoms tend to emerge suddenly, you may find yourself experiencing a milder version in the early stages of the virus. Its also important to note that you may be a carrier for the virus even if you arent experiencing any symptoms yourself.

    Why Do Some People Not Feel Well Or Feel Like They Have Flu Symptoms After Getting A Flu Vaccine

    An experimental flu vaccine could radically change the shot you get ...

    While a flu vaccine cannot give you the flu, there may be times when you dont feel well after getting your flu vaccine. Heres why:

    • You may get some mild and temporary side effects after your flu vaccine, such as soreness or redness where you got your shot, muscle aches, headache or a low fever. These common side effects usually begin soon after you get the vaccine and last 1-2 days. These reactions are a sign that your immune system is working and that your body is building protection against flu.
    • You could become sick from other respiratory viruses that are spreading during flu season. A flu vaccine only protects you from the flu, not other illnesses like COVID-19 or the common cold.
    • You could encounter flu viruses, which cause the flu, shortly before getting your flu vaccine or during the 2 weeks after getting the vaccine when your body is still building immunity. As a result, you could get the flu before the vaccine has the chance to protect you.
    • You could experience flu-like symptoms, even after getting vaccinated, because you were exposed to a flu virus that is very different from the viruses that the vaccine is designed to protect against. There are many different flu viruses that spread and cause illness among people. However, even when the circulating flu viruses are not a perfect match to the strains in the flu vaccine, getting a flu vaccine should still help protect you against serious flu illness and its complications.

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    What’s The Best Time To Get The Flu Shot

    Infectious disease experts rarely if ever say it’s “too late” to get a flu shot. But even Schaffner told NBC News this time of year mid-January is cutting it close.

    “It is late,” he said. “If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, get it this afternoon.”

    There does appear to be a sweet spot when it comes to the best time of year that would likely offer the best protection: in the fall, preferably before Halloween. Indeed, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommends the flu vaccine be administered before the end of October.

    It takes two weeks for the body to build immunity after getting a flu shot, so an October vaccination generally means a person would be as protected as possible before the season gets going, and before families get together for the holidays, which increases the likelihood of spreading germs.

    When Should I Get Vaccinated

    The flu season ranges roughly from October-March. Because the flu vaccine takes about two weeks to fully protect you from viral antibodies, we recommend you try to get vaccinated by the end of October. However, if youve yet to get your vaccination this year, its not too late!

    We understand there are many questions about vaccines, especially the flu vaccine, and we always encourage our patients to ask any questions they may have. Call East Meadow Medical P.C. today to schedule your vaccination, or use the online booking tool. Its important not just for yourself, but also for those around you!

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    Who Should Have The Vaccine

    In 2022/23 flu season, the following people are eligible to receive the flu vaccine for free:

    • All children aged 2 to 10 years on 31st Aug 2022
    • Secondary school children in years 7, 8 and 9
    • Those aged 50-64 years
    • Those aged 65 years or over
    • Those in long-term residential care homes
    • Carers
    • Frontline health and social care workers
    • Close contacts of immunocompromised individuals
    • Those aged 6 months to 65 years in at-risk groups including people with the following health conditions:
    • Respiratory diseases, including asthma
    • Heart disease, kidney disease or liver disease
    • Neurological conditions including learning disability
    • Diabetes
    • A severely weakened immune system , a missing spleen, sickle cell anaemia or coeliac disease
    • Being seriously overweight

    Your doctor may recommend the flu vaccine in other circumstances as well.

    Note that the eligibility criteria for the 2022/23 season are different to those in the 2021/22 season, so some people who were eligible for the flu vaccine last year may not be eligible this year.

    Babies under 6 months old are too young to receive a flu vaccine. This is because they have maternal antibodies passed on from their mother which prevent the vaccine from working so well. Flu vaccination is offered to all pregnant women in the UK . As well as protecting pregnant women themselves, this also helps to protect their newborn babies from flu.

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