Friday, September 22, 2023

Does The Flu Shot Really Help

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How Much It Hurts May Depend On How The Shot Was Administered

Does the Flu Shot Really Work?

Slow injections may cause more pain, according to research published in the journal Vaccine. Researchers compared pain measurements in slow versus fast injections among infants and found that a faster shot reduced injection-induced pain when it came to certain vaccines, including the flu shot. A slower injection time means more time for the needle to be in contact with the skin, which could lead to the needle moving around more or even potentially cause muscle tissue damage, both of which make you feel sorer.

While you cant exactly predict the style of the person giving you the shot, try stroking or applying gentle pressure to the skin near the injection site during the shot, said Michael Grosso, chief medical officer at Huntington Hospital in Huntington, New York. Just give the nurse or pharmacist a heads up if you want to do this step before they get started. They may opt to do it for you so that you dont accidentally get pricked.

What Are Factors That Influence How Well Flu Vaccines Work

How well flu vaccines work can vary from season to season. Protection can vary depending on who is being vaccinated. At least two factors play an important role in determining the likelihood that vaccination will protect a person from flu illness: 1) characteristics of the person being vaccinated , and 2) how well the vaccines match the flu viruses spreading in the community. When flu vaccines are not well matched to one or more circulating influenza viruses, it is possible that vaccination may provide little or no protection from illness caused by those viruses, but still provide protection against other flu viruses that circulate during the season. When there is a good match between flu vaccines and circulating viruses, vaccination provides substantial benefits by preventing flu illness and complications. .

Each flu season, researchers try to determine how well flu vaccines work as a public health intervention. Estimates of how well a flu vaccine works can vary based on study design, outcome measured, population studied and type of flu vaccine. Differences between studies must be considered when results are compared.

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.

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How Does The Flu Vaccine Work

There are many different types of flu vaccines, but they all work in a similar way. The flu vaccine contains dead, weakened, or inactivated pieces of the flu virus. The purpose of a flu vaccine is to help your body learn what the flu virus looks like without actually causing you to get sick, since the pieces of virus in the vaccine arent live or active. That way, your immune system can prepare itself with antibodies to fight off the real flu virus if it comes.

Many different flu virus strains exist, and because we dont have a flu vaccine that works for all of them yet, researchers make predictions each year about which strains will be the most common. Flu vaccines are then designed to focus on three or four of those strains.

Ideally, if you get the vaccine and youre exposed to the flu virus, your body will fight the virus off before you ever get sick from it. But theres a chance that your body still may not fight the virus off completely and you may experience flu symptoms. If this happens, your sickness will likely be milder than what you might have experienced with no flu shot at all.

When Should I Get Vaccinated

How Long Does It Take for the Flu Shot to Be Effective?
  • You should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begins spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu. Make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. However, getting vaccinated early is likely to be associated with reduced protection against flu infection later in the flu season, particularly among older adults. Vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later. Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.

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Why Doesnt The Flu Shot Work For The Coronavirus

Simply put, the flu shot doesnt work for the coronavirus because the viruses that cause the diseases are different.

When you receive a vaccine, your body builds antibodies to the virus or bacteria the vaccine is made for, and your immune system builds those antibodies to attack only the specific virus or bacteria.

Antibodies to the flu virus wont recognize the coronavirus, and similarly, antibodies to the coronavirus wont recognize the flu virus. So to be protected as much as possible against the flu and COVID-19, its important to receive both vaccines if you are eligible.

Why Are There So Many Different Outcomes For Vaccine Effectiveness Studies

Vaccine effectiveness studies that measure different outcomes are conducted to better understand the different kinds of benefits provided by vaccination. Ideally, public health researchers want to evaluate the benefits of vaccination against illness of varying severity. To do this, they assess how well flu vaccines work to prevent illness resulting in a doctor visit, or illness resulting in hospitalization, ICU admission, and even death associated with flu. Because estimates of vaccine effectiveness may vary based on the outcome measured , results should be compared between studies that used the same outcome for estimating vaccine effectiveness.

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What If I’m Pregnant

Just last week there was a study published suggesting that the flu vaccine could be associated with early-term miscarriage in some pregnant women. But this finding is far from conclusive, and doctors still advise pregnant women to get the flu shot.

“Lets be clear: this study does not suggest the flu vaccine can cause an increased risk of miscarriage,” says Dr. Sherry Ross an OB/GYN at Providence Saint Johns Health Center. “The flu is more likely to cause serious illness in pregnancy compared to those women who are not pregnant in pregnancy there are changes in the immune system, heart and lung function that make pregnant women more prone to severe illness from the flu which can lead to hospitalization or even death. Other problems as a result of the flu include dehydration, miscarriage and preterm labor.”

Furthermore, a flu shot helps protect newborns from getting the flu.

“Babies can’t get the flu vaccine until thy are six months, so by getting the vaccine herself, the mom will make the antibodies and pass it onto the baby, protecting them from severe flu for the first months of their lives,” says Dr. Chang.

Still, it is totally understandable to be concerned, so if you are pregnant and have questions, talk to your OB/GYN. And if you’re a parent who is unsure if your six month old is really ready for the flu vaccine, pay a visit to your pediatrician.

Everyone 6 Months And Older Should Get The Flu Shot

Get a flu shot to help avoid ‘twindemic’ of flu season and COVID-19, experts warn

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.

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    What You Need To Do

    If you belong to one of the groups mentioned in this guidance, its important that you have your flu vaccination.

    Speak to your GP or practice nurse, or alternatively your local pharmacist, to book a vaccination appointment and get the best possible protection. For pregnant women, the vaccine may also be available through maternity services.

    The flu vaccine is free, so make an appointment to receive one.

    Organisations wishing to protect their employees against flu will need to make arrangements for the vaccinations to be given through their occupational health departments. These vaccinations are not available on the NHS and will have to be paid for by the employer.

    If you are a frontline health or social care worker, find out what arrangements have been made at your workplace for providing flu vaccination. Its important that you get protected.

    Who Can Have The Flu Vaccine

    The flu vaccine is given free on the NHS to people who:

    • are 50 and over
    • have certain health conditions
    • are pregnant
    • are in long-stay residential care
    • receive a carer’s allowance, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you get sick
    • live with someone who is more likely to get infections
    • frontline health or social care workers

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    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 .

    Why Does Your Arm Hurt After A Flu Shot Here’s How Experts Explain It

    Should You Get A Flu Shot When You

    It’s not only because someone just jabbed it with a needle.

    Getting your annual flu shot is the first and most important step in protecting yourself and your loved ones against an unavoidable flu season. For the most part, that flu shot comes with only minor side effectsfatigue, headache or muscle aches, a mild feverand they’re much more manageable than getting the flu itself.

    Another side effect from the flu vaccinearguably the most common oneis pain, swelling, or redness where the shot was given. On the surface, it makes sense: Of course you’ll have arm pain if you get a flu shot in your arm. But is your arm really supposed to be that sore after a tiny needle delivers the vaccine?

    Turns out, there’s a little more to that localized arm pain, according to experts. Here’s why it tends to happen, and what you can do to lessen the discomfort, both before and after the jab.

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    What Is The Flu

    The flu is a respiratory illness caused by infection with the influenza virus. Its very contagious, which means its easily passed from one person to another. Flu symptoms can range from mild to severe and may include:

    • Fever or chills
    • Sore throat
    • Severe respiratory complications in some patients

    Flu infection is especially dangerous for those at risk for flu complications, including older people, very young children, and those with chronic health conditions. However, it can cause severe and even life-threatening symptoms in anyone, of any age.

    Seasonal Flu And Covid

    COVID-19 and the flu will likely both be spreading this season, according to the CDC. Protecting yourself from the flu with a flu shot helps reduce your risk of serious illness and hospitalization.3 Thats important this year because there continue to be concerns about hospital capacity with the ongoing spread of COVID-19. It may be hard to know if you have COVID-19 or if it may be the flu or a cold, since symptoms are similar. Getting the COVID-19 vaccine and the flu vaccine will give you the best protection. You can even get them at the same time.3 Ask your doctor if you have more questions about how these vaccines can help protect you.

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    Benefits Of The Flu Vaccine

    The most obvious benefit of having a flu vaccine is to prevent yourself from being infected with the flu. But a flu vaccine also helps keep the disease from spreading to other people. Once you have the flu virus, it can take a few days before symptoms begin. During that time, you can spread infection to others, including family members and people at high risk for complications and death.

    Annual flu vaccines offer significant benefits to those at risk for flu complications. People with asthma, COPD, or heart disease, for example, are all more likely to become seriously ill, which could result in hospitalization or even death. If youre pregnant, having a flu shot can provide protection for you and for your baby for several months after birth.

    How Effective Is The Flu Shot

    Tis the season for… flu shots

    When researchers study vaccines, they’re looking for several types of data that can reveal how well these vaccines work.

    • Efficacy is how well a vaccine works in a controlled clinical trial, looking at how many people who got the vaccine ended up getting sick, compared with those who didn’t get the vaccine. If a vaccine has an 80% efficacy at preventing illness, 80% fewer people in the flu-shot group of the clinical trial will get sick.
    • Effectiveness is how well the virus works in the real world, usually analyzed through observational studies after a given season is over. Real-world populations are much larger and more variable than those included in clinical trials. If a vaccine has an 80% effectiveness at preventing illness, 80% fewer of the people who get the vaccine will have gotten sick that year.

    The average effectiveness at preventing laboratory-confirmed cases of influenza between the 2009-2010 season and 2019-2020 season was about 43%, meaning that people who got the flu vaccine over those years were on average 43% less likely to get sick enough with the flu to go to their doctor and get tested.

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    Where To Get The Flu Vaccine

    You can have the NHS flu vaccine at:

    • your GP surgery
    • a pharmacy offering the service
    • your midwifery service if you’re pregnant
    • a hospital appointment

    If you do not have your flu vaccine at your GP surgery, you do not have to tell the surgery. This will be done for you.

    It’s important to go to your vaccination appointments unless you have symptoms of COVID-19.

    Other Methods Of Manufacture

    Methods of vaccine generation that bypass the need for eggs include the construction of influenza virus-like particles . VLP resemble viruses, but there is no need for inactivation, as they do not include viral coding elements, but merely present antigens in a similar manner to a virion. Some methods of producing VLP include cultures of Spodoptera frugiperdaSf9 insect cells and plant-based vaccine production . There is evidence that some VLPs elicit antibodies that recognize a broader panel of antigenically distinct viral isolates compared to other vaccines in the hemagglutination-inhibition assay .

    A gene-based DNA vaccine, used to prime the immune system after boosting with an inactivated H5N1 vaccine, underwent clinical trials in 2011.

    On November 20, 2012, Novartis received FDA approval for the first cell-culture vaccine. In 2013, the recombinant influenza vaccine, Flublok, was approved for use in the United States.

    On September 17, 2020, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use of the European Medicines Agency adopted a positive opinion, recommending the granting of a marketing authorization for Supemtek, a quadrivalent influenza vaccine . The applicant for this medicinal product is Sanofi Pasteur. Supemtek was approved for medical use in the European Union in November 2020.

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    How Does The Coronavirus Vaccine Work

    There are three COVID-19 vaccines that have been authorized for emergency use in the U.S. by the FDA, and one of them has received full approval. Not all of the vaccines work the same way, but they all help your immune system build antibodies to fight the coronavirus.

    • Comirnaty is FDA-approved for use in people age 16 years and older for preventing COVID-19. It is given as a 2-dose series and works by allowing virus genetic material called mRNA into cells in your body and causing an immune system response against the coronavirus.

    • The Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine is authorized by the FDA for emergency use to prevent COVID-19 in people ages 18 and older. This vaccine is also given as a 2-dose series and works in the same way as Comirnaty, helping your body mount an immune response against coronavirus mRNA.

    • The is authorized by the FDA for emergency use to prevent COVID-19 in people ages 18 and older. This vaccine is given as a single dose. It works by delivering a microscopic particle called a vector to your immune system that looks like the coronavirus and causing your immune system to create antibodies against coronavirus.

    There is no COVID-19 vaccine that is currently preferred over another for how well it works or related to side effects. Research studying the effectiveness and safety of the vaccines is ongoing.

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