Is The Flu Vaccine Safe
The flu vaccine is safe for most people and is recommended for everyone ages 6 months and older. People who should not receive flu vaccines are those who have had a severe allergic reaction to the flu or other vaccine in the past and those who have had a condition called Guillan-Barre syndrome.
If you have questions about your specific medical conditions, call your doctor to ask if its safe for you to get a flu vaccine.
Can I Get Seasonal Flu Even Though I Got A Flu Vaccine This Year
Yes. Its possible to get sick with flu even if you have been vaccinated . This is possible for the following reasons:
You may be exposed to a flu virus shortly before getting vaccinated or during the period that it takes the body to gain protection after getting vaccinated. This exposure may result in you becoming ill with flu before the vaccine begins to protect you.
You may be exposed to a flu virus that is not included in the seasonal flu vaccine. There are many different flu viruses that circulate every year. A flu vaccine is made to protect against the three or four flu viruses that research suggests will be most common.
Unfortunately, some people can become infected with a flu virus a flu vaccine is designed to protect against, despite getting vaccinated. The protection provided by the flu vaccination can vary widely, based in part on the health and age factors of the person getting vaccinated. In general, a flu vaccine works best among healthy younger adults and older children. Some older people and people with certain chronic illnesses may develop less immunity after vaccination. Flu vaccination is not a perfect tool, but it is the best way to protect against flu infection.
The Nasal Vaccine Contains Gelatine Derived From Pigs
The nasal vaccine contains a highly processed form of gelatine , which is used in a range of many essential medicines. The gelatine helps to keep the vaccine viruses stable so that the vaccine provides the best protection against flu.
The nasal vaccine is offered to children as it is more effective in the programme than the injected vaccine. This is because it is easier to administer, may offer better protection than injected vaccines and is considered better at reducing the spread of flu.
However, if your child is at high risk from flu due to one or more medical conditions or treatments and cant have the nasal flu vaccine, they should have the flu vaccine by injection.
For those who may not accept the use of porcine gelatine in medical products, an alternative injectable vaccine is available. You should discuss your options with your nurse or doctor, or school aged immunisation service.
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Can You Get The Flu Vaccine And Covid
You can get a COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine during the same visit, according to the CDC and based on extensive research with vaccines, Dr. Carney says. This gives people the opportunity to get vaccinated for both flu and COVID-19 at the same time, increasing their protection against both of these infections.
While there isnt a ton of information or research available on getting the COVID-19 and flu vaccines at the same time, the CDC makes their recommendation based on research into how people react to other combinations of vaccines. Its not clear if getting both vaccines at the same time will increase your chances of having side effects. Early research in the United Kingdom done of 670 adults shows that people who received their second COVID-19 vaccine and a flu vaccine at the same time were more likely to have local reactions, which includes side effects like arm pain and swelling near the injection site, compared to people who only got the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the November 2021 paper published in The Lancet2.
How You Catch Flu
When an infected person coughs or sneezes, they spread the flu virus in tiny droplets of saliva over a wide area. These droplets can then be breathed in by other people or they can be picked up by touching surfaces where the droplets have landed.
You can prevent the spread of the virus by covering your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze, and you can wash your hands frequently or use hand gels to reduce the risk of picking up the virus.
But the best way to avoid catching and spreading flu is by having the vaccination before the flu season starts.
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What’s In This Year’s Flu Vaccines
The composition of the 2021-2022 flu shot will be different from last season’s flu shot. Specifically, the two influenza A components of the flu shot differ from those in last year’s shot. In addition, all flu shots for the 2021-2022 season will be quadrivalent, meaning they will contain four strains of flu viruses.
According to the CDC , the 2021-2022 quadrivalent egg-based flu shot contains the following strains of the flu virus:
- A/Victoria/2570/2019 pdm09-like virus This H1N1 component differs from last year’s flu shot.
- A/Cambodia/e0826360/2020 -like virus This is the H3N2 component that is different from last year’s flu shot.
- B/Washington/02/2019- like virus This influenza B strain component is the same as the one in last year’s shot.
- B/Phuket/3073/2013-like virus This influenza B strain component was also in last year’s shot.
Then, there are the two types of flu vaccines that don’t involve eggs: cell-based and recombinant-based flu vaccines. In cell-based flu vaccines, the inactivated flu virus is grown in cultured cells from mammals rather than in hens’ eggs. And recombinant flu vaccines are created synthetically. To make this type of vaccine, scientists combine a lab-made antigen specific to the flu virus with a baculovirus .
Flumist Generic Or Biosimilar
FluMist is available only as a brand-name medication. Its not currently available in biosimilar form.
A biosimilar is like a generic. A generic is an exact copy of the active drug in a brand-name medication thats made from chemicals.
A biosimilar, on the other hand, is a drug thats similar to a brand-name biologic drug. Biologics are drugs made using living cells. Because of this, the drugs cant be copied exactly.
Biosimilars have the same safety and effectiveness as the brand-name medication. Usually, a biosimilar drug costs less than the brand-name biologic.
Heres some information on how FluMist compares with a flu shot.
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Does It Work Better Than The Flu Shot
Studies show that both the flu shot and nasal spray work. For adults, doctors found that the nasal spray works just as well as the flu shot. In 2009, they found that the nasal spray worked better in children. But later studies didnât show that it was any more effective than the shot. Whether you get the shot or spray is up to you.
When To Get The Vaccine
Its important to get the flu vaccine a few weeks before flu season begins in your area. This is because the flu vaccine takes about 2 weeks to become effective to help prevent the flu. The CDC recommends that adults and children get vaccinated in the early fall, before the end of October.
However, the CDC also recommends not getting the flu vaccine too early. If you get vaccinated in July or August, the vaccine protection may not last throughout the flu season.
Some children need two doses of the flu vaccine, which need to be separated by at least 4 weeks. In this case, your childs doctor may recommend that your child receives the first dose early. This helps ensure that both doses can be given before flu season.
Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about FluMist.
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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.
Are There Some People Who Should Not Get A Flu Vaccine
People who should not get a flu shot include:
- Infants under age 6 months
- Anyone who has had a severe reaction to a past flu shot or nasal spray
- Someone with Guillain-Barre syndrome or chronic inflammatory demyelinating polyneuropathy
- People with moderate to severe illness with a fever they should be vaccinated after they have recovered.
It’s long been advised that people with allergies to eggs should not get the flu shot. However, the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology says the vaccine contains such a low amount of egg protein that it’s unlikely to cause an allergic reaction in those with an egg allergy. If you have a severe egg allergy , talk to your doctor before getting the flu vaccine. The vaccine should be given by a health care provider with experience in managing allergic signs and symptoms and should be watched closely for at least 30 minutes. Also, flu vaccines that do not contain eggs are available.
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How Effective Is The Nasal Spray Seasonal Flu Vaccine
Flu vaccine effectiveness can vary from year to year, among different age and risk groups, by vaccine type, and even by virus type and subtype. Prior to the 2009 flu pandemic, the nasal spray vaccine was found to be effective against different flu viruses. After the 2009 pandemic, several U.S. studies among 2 through 17-year-olds found that the nasal spray vaccine was as effective against influenza B viruses and influenza A viruses as inactivated influenza vaccines but was less effective than inactivated flu vaccines against the 2009 pandemic H1N1 viruses. These data led ACIP and CDC to recommend against use of the nasal spray vaccine for the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons.
Since the 2017-2018 season, the manufacturer of nasal spray vaccine has used new influenza A vaccine virus ingredients in production. Because of limited use, there have been no effectiveness estimates in the United States since LAIV was recommended again in the 2018-2019 influenza season. Data from other countries have demonstrated protection from LAIV to be similar to that of standard-dose, egg-based inactivated flu vaccine in children.
The Side Effects Of The Flu Shot And Nasal Spray And When Your Symptoms May Be The Sign Of An Allergic Reaction
- The side effects of the flu shot are soreness at the injection site, headache, mild fever, and nausea.
- The side effects of the nasal spray are runny nose, wheezing, sore throat, headaches, fever, and nausea.
- Most side effects are mild, so look out for symptoms like trouble breathing, weakness, and dizziness, which may be the sign of an allergic reaction.
- This article was reviewed by Jason R. McKnight, MD, MS, a family medicine physician and clinical assistant professor at Texas A& M College of Medicine.
The flu shot has some side effects like soreness around the injection site and headaches, but these are short-lived and should not deter you from getting vaccinated.
On rare occasions, the flu shot could trigger an allergic reaction that needs to be treated by a doctor.
Here’s what you need to know about the side effects of the flu shot and how to tell the difference between a normal response and an allergic reaction.
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How Well Does Flumist Work
FluMist is an effective vaccine to help prevent against infection with the influenza viruses.
FluMist was studied in clinical trials of adults ages 18 to 49 years. Researchers followed people in the study over the course of 7 weeks. People vaccinated with FluMist were 23.7% less likely to develop an upper respiratory infection with a fever compared with people who received a placebo. Upper respiratory infections include the common cold.
However, no vaccine is 100% effective. Although FluMist may decrease your risk for becoming infected with the flu viruses, you could still develop the flu.
Talk with your doctor about whether FluMist is right for you and what else you can do to help prevent the flu.
How Effective Is The Seasonal Flu Vaccine
The seasonal flu vaccine is about 60% effective in preventing flu. It takes about two weeks for the body to become protected after getting the seasonal flu vaccine.
The viruses used in the vaccine may not be the only strains causing the flu it’s possible you could be infected with a virus you do not have immunity against. People who get the flu after getting a flu shot typically have a milder and shorter case of flu.
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Fever After The Vaccine
A fever is a body temperature of 38°C or above. Fevers are quite common in young children, but are usually mild. If your childs face feels hot to the touch and they look red or flushed, they may have a fever. You can check their body temperature with a thermometer.
Keep your child cool by:
- making sure they do not have too many layers of clothes or blankets on
- turning down the heating in your home
- giving them plenty of cool drinks
Putting your child in a bath, sponging them down or fanning them will not lower their fever but it might comfort them.
As fevers are usually mild, you only need to give a dose of paracetamol if your child appears uncomfortable or unwell.
Ibuprofen can be used to treat a fever and other post-vaccination reactions. Giving ibuprofen at the time of vaccination to prevent a fever is not effective.
Never give medicines that contain aspirin to children under 16.
Always read the instructions on the bottle or packet very carefully.
Myth #: The Flu Vaccine Isn’t Safe For Pregnant Women
Studies show flu vaccines are safe for women in any stage of pregnancy, the CDC says. There are several reasons why it’s important for pregnant women to get a flu shot, Schaffner said.
“Pregnant women, when they get influenza, have a tendency to get a more severe disease,” and are at increased risk for complications and hospitalization from the disease, Schaffner said.
In addition, flu vaccination in pregnancy helps to protect the baby against flu during the first six months of life, when the baby is too young to receive a flu shot, Schaffner said. The mother “passes that protection on to her newborn baby,” Schaffner said.
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What Other Drugs Will Affect Flumist
Anyone 2 to 17 years old receiving a FluMistshould not take aspirin for at least 4 weeks after the vaccine. A possible interaction between nasal flu vaccine and aspirin can cause a serious or fatal condition called Reye’s syndrome.
Before receiving this vaccine, tell your vaccination provider about all other vaccines you have recently received.
Other drugs may interact with influenza virus nasal vaccine, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal products. Tell your doctor about all other medicines you use.
Can Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine Give Me Flu
Flu vaccines do not cause flu illness. The nasal spray flu vaccine contains weakened viruses, so that they will not cause flu illness. The weakened viruses are cold-adapted, which means they are designed to only multiply at the cooler temperatures found within the nose, and not the lungs or other areas where warmer temperatures exist.
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Are There Side Effects To The Flu Vaccine
Some people experience soreness or swelling at the site of the flu shot injection. And some have mild side effects like a headache, cough, body aches, or fever. These usually clear up in about one to two days.
The nasal spray sometimes causes mild symptoms, including:
- runny nose, congestion, or cough
Side Effects In Children
Side effects in toddlers, children, and teenagers were very similar to side effects that occurred in adults. However, children also experienced fever higher than 100°F and belly pain.
Children younger than age 5 years with a history of wheezing or asthma may be at an increased risk of developing wheezing after receiving FluMist. So if your child has had asthma or wheezing that keeps returning, their doctor may recommend that they receive a flu shot instead of FluMist. Getting a flu shot shouldnt raise their risk of wheezing.
If your child does receive the FluMist vaccine, their doctor may monitor them afterward to treat any wheezing that occurs.
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How Cdc Monitors Vaccine Safety
CDC and FDA monitor the safety of vaccines after they are approved or authorized. If a problem is found with a vaccine, CDC and FDA will inform health officials, health care providers, and the public.
CDC uses 3 systems to monitor vaccine safety:
- The Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System : an early warning system, co-managed by CDC and FDA, to monitor for potential vaccine safety problems. Anyone can report possible vaccine side effects to VAERS.
- The Vaccine Safety Datalink : a collaboration between CDC and 9 health care organizations that conducts vaccine safety monitoring and research.
- The Clinical Immunization Safety Assessment Project: a partnership between CDC and several medical research centers that provides expert consultation and conducts clinical research on vaccine-associated health risks.