Tuesday, March 28, 2023

Flu Shot While On Antibiotics

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Don’t Get The Flu Shot With A Fever

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While it’s generally okay to get the flu shot with a cold or other mild illness, you should wait to get vaccinated if you have a fever of over 99.5°F or signs of respiratory distress like shortness of breath and chest discomfort.

If you have either of these symptoms, it indicates the possibility of a more severe illness that may be exacerbated by the side effects of a flu shot, says Charles Bailey, MD, the medical director for infection prevention at Mission Hospital and St. Joseph Hospital in Orange County, California.

In addition, the flu shot may not be as effective if you get it while sick with another severe illness because your immune system is already working over time. Since flu shots work by prompting your body to produce antibodies, you might not get the full effect of the vaccine if your immune system is already working to help you recover from a serious illness.

Another reason to avoid the flu shot if you have a fever is that it may mask the signs if you have an allergic reaction to the vaccine.

Most allergic reactions occur within the first hour of getting a vaccine and include symptoms like a high fever, nausea, and muscle aches. If you already have a fever, it could be difficult to know if you’re having an allergic reaction, or not.

What Is Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance refers to the ability of some germs to survive the drugs we take to kill them. This can happen as a result of overuse, described above, or misuse, as when a patient with strep throat misses doses of their antibiotics or stops taking their pills once they feel better. Instead of being killed, the strep bacteria are, in the words of one scientist, educated in how to fight the drug. Then, if those germs are passed to someone else, the same antibiotic will be less effective.

Superbugs are germs that are resistant to many antibiotics. The best-known superbug is MRSA , a drug-resistant form of staph. Other superbugs cause hard-to-treat forms of pneumonia, tuberculosis, gonorrhea and UTIs. Every year, 2 million Americans fall ill with antibiotic-resistant infections.

Superbugs take more time and money to treat. Today, a simple sore throat or UTI might inconvenience you for a week, until your inexpensive generic antibiotics kick in. In the future, that week could turn into a month and multiple rounds of pricey specialized antibiotics.

Thats not all. Antibiotics are the unsung hero that support many medical breakthroughs, Dr. Knecht says. Theres a whole slew of technologies we wouldnt be able to use if antibiotics stopped working: surgery, dialysis, chemotherapy, gene therapy, bone marrow transplants. All of these treatments would be too dangerous without effective ways to head off and treat infection.

Antivirals For Treating The Flu

Even though antibiotics arent effective against the flu, there are antiviral medications that your doctor can prescribe within a certain time frame.

If these drugs are started within two days of developing flu symptoms, they can help to make your symptoms less severe or shorten the duration of your illness.

Antiviral drugs that are available to treat flu include:

  • oseltamivir
  • zanamivir
  • peramivir

Theres also a new medication called baloxavir marboxil . This antiviral drug was created by a Japanese pharmaceutical company, approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in October 2018, and is now available to treat people 12 years or older who have had flu symptoms for no more than 48 hours.

Some antiviral drugs, including oseltamivir, zanamivir, and peramivir, work by preventing the virus from being properly released from an infected cell. This inhibition prevents newly formed virus particles from going along the respiratory tract to infect healthy cells.

The newly approved medication above, Xofluza, works by reducing the virus ability to replicate. But theyre arent usually necessary to get over the flu, and they dont kill the influenza virus.

Its not an antiviral medication like those noted above, but the seasonal flu vaccine is available every year and is the best way to prevent becoming ill with the flu.

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What Is An Mrna Vaccine Do Mrna Vaccines Affect Dna

The vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are messenger RNA vaccines. mRNA is found in all living cells, and mRNA vaccines work by teaching cells how to make a protein or a piece of a protein that triggers an immune response inside the body. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects against infection if you are exposed to the virus.

mRNA is not the same as DNA, and it cannot combine with our DNA to change our genetic code. It is also relatively fragile, and will only remain inside a cell for about 72 hours, before being degraded. mRNA vaccines do not affect or interact with DNA in any way. mRNA never enters the nucleus of the cell, which is where DNA is located.

How Is The Flu Virus Spread

Is it normal to feel sick after the flu shot?

The flu virus is spread by respiratory droplets from sneezing, coughing, talking, or touching. Experts say that the flu can be spread from person to person up to 6 feet away.

If you have the flu, you can spread it during the time when youre contagious, which starts 1 day before symptoms and lasts for 5 to 7 days after starting to feel sick. This means that you can spread the flu virus even before you are sick and also during the illness.

The best way to prevent the flu and lower the chance of having serious symptoms is to get the flu vaccine every year.

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If You’re Over 65 Years Of Age You May Need A Special Vaccine

If you’re older than 65 years of age, the CDC labels you as “high risk” for developing complications connected to the flu. As we age, our immune system becomes weaker, making it harder for your body to fight off the illness, so it can lead to chronic conditions or even death. The CDC estimated that between 70% and 90% of flu deaths in recent years occurred in people who were older than 65.

It’s not that you should skip the flu shot if you’re older than 65 years of age, but that you should get a special high-dose flu vaccine instead. The CDC recommends a flu shot that has four times the antigen as the regular vaccine. After conducting a clinical trial with over 30,000 participants, the CDC concluded, “adults 65 years and older who received the high-dose vaccine had 24% fewer influenza infections as compared to those who received the standard dose flu vaccine.”

People Who Need More Than One Flu Vaccine A Year

There are some people who are recommended to have a second dose of the influenza vaccine within the space of one year.

These include:

  • Children less than 9 years receiving their influenza vaccine for the first time require 2 doses 4 weeks apart for an adequate immune response.
  • People who have had a haematopoietic stem cell transplant or solid organ transplant and are receiving influenza vaccine for the first time after transplant.
  • Pregnant women, who may be vaccinated with the next seasons influenza vaccine if it becomes available in the latter part of their pregnancy, even if they were vaccinated with the previous seasons vaccine prior to or earlier in pregnancy.
  • Overseas travellers, who may benefit from a second dose of this seasons influenza vaccine if going to the northern hemisphere winter and receiving the northern hemisphere formulation there is not feasible.

Please check with your GP to find out whether you fall into one of these categories.

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Annual Vaccination Is Recommended

Annual vaccination before the onset of each flu season is recommended. In most parts of Australia, this occurs from June to September.

Immunisation from April provides protection before the peak season. While the flu continues to circulate, it is never too late to vaccinate.

The flu vaccine cannot give you influenza because it does not contain live virus. Some people may still contract the flu because the vaccine may not always protect against all strains of the flu virus circulating in the community.

How Does Stelara Increase The Risk Of Infection

Colds, Flu and Antibiotics

Because Stelara blocks the effects of these cytokines, reducing our immune response, it can increase the risk of infection or precipitate symptoms of an infection that has been asymptomatic. Stelara should NOT be initiated in any person with a current or suspected infection. This includes:

  • Active tuberculosis. If a person has latent tuberculosis, treatment for tuberculosis should be initiated prior to Stelara in patients with a past history of latent or active tuberculosis in whom an adequate course of treatment cannot be confirmed. Anybody with a prior history of TB should be monitored closely for signs and symptoms of active tuberculosis during and after treatment.

Instruct patients to seek medical advice if signs or symptoms suggestive of an infection occur while on treatment with Stelara and consider discontinuing Stelara® for serious or clinically significant infections until the infection resolves or is adequately treated.

Serious infections, caused by bacteria, fungi, or viruses, have been reported in people taking Stelara, for example:

  • Appendicitis
  • Colds, flus and other respiratory viral infections
  • Diverticulitis
  • Urinary tract infections.

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How To Get Immunized Safely

  • Book an appointment using the new centralized vaccine booking tool at bookvaccine.alberta.ca.
  • Phone Health Link at 811 to receive help in booking one or multiple vaccination appointments for family members and children.
  • Contact your local pharmacist to inquire about opportunities to drop in for your vaccination.
  • Contact your local physician to make an appointment.
  • Arrive as close to the appointment time as you can.
  • Stay home if you have symptoms of COVID-19, isolate and complete the AHS online assessment.
  • Follow safety protocols: wear a mask, wash your hands, stay 2 metres apart when possible.
  • Fill out forms online when possible.

Staff and volunteers at clinics and venues offering influenza immunization must follow their employers’ policies for COVID-19 screening.

Can You Get A Flu Shot With A Cold

It’s generally safe to get a flu shot with a cold or other mild illness.

“In most cases, a cold will not inhibit your body’s expected immune response to the vaccine,” says Stephen Cobb, MD, a family medicine doctor and physician executive at Centura Health in Colorado.

This means that the flu shot will be just as effective and you aren’t likely to have extra side effects if you get vaccinated while you have a cold.

You can also get the flu shot if you have other mild conditions, like a sinus infection or seasonal allergies.

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Flu Vaccine And Coronavirus

Flu vaccination is important because:

  • more people are likely to get flu this winter as fewer people will have built up natural immunity to it during the COVID-19 pandemic
  • if you get flu and COVID-19 at the same time, research shows you’re more likely to be seriously ill
  • getting vaccinated against flu and COVID-19 will provide protection for you and those around you for both these serious illnesses

If you’ve had COVID-19, it’s safe to have the flu vaccine. It will still be effective at helping to prevent flu.

How The Flu Vaccine Works

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The flu viruses change every year because the influenza virus has a unique ability to change its surface structure. This means that even if you had influenza or an immunisation one year, your bodys immune system might be unable to fight the changed version of the virus that will be circulating the following year.

Each year, a new vaccine is developed and is available for those who wish to be immunised. The seasonal flu vaccine includes protection against four strains of influenza.

Recent evidence suggests optimal protection against the flu occurs within the first 3-4 months following vaccination.

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Possible Side Effects Of The Flu Vaccine

The influenza vaccine can cause side effects. In children under 5 years, these reactions may be more obvious.

Common side effects of influenza vaccine include:

  • drowsiness or tiredness
  • localised pain, redness and swelling at the injection site
  • occasionally, an injection-site lump that may last many weeks but needs no treatment
  • low-grade temperature .

You Had A Severe Reaction To The Shot Last Year

If you experienced a severe reaction to your flu shot last year, talk to your doctor first before heading in for this year’s vaccine. In most cases, the reaction you experienced wasn’t related to the flu shot at all. However, in some cases, it may be a sign that you’re allergic to a component used in the flu vaccine. According to the Mayo Clinic, “The flu vaccine isn’t recommended for anyone who had a severe reaction to a previous flu vaccine.”

According to Dr. May, you’ll know you’re having a severe allergic reaction if you experience “lip or tongue swelling, wheezing, hives, hoarseness, difficulty breathing, paleness or a fast heartbeat.”

Your doctor may still recommend that you get the flu vaccine since this illness can be dangerous and lead to serious complications. Your medical provider may want to monitor you or have another medical professional observe your reaction to the vaccine this year, just to be safe.

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Will Antibiotics Help The Flu

Antibiotics have no effect on the flu. The drugs wont relieve your symptoms, reduce the length of your illness or boost your immunity to other germs. Sure, you may feel better after taking antibiotics, for a simple reason: You were already on the road to recovery. We all tend to seek treatment when our symptoms are at their peak. Over the next few days, as the virus runs its course, you start to feel better. But that would have happened even without medication.

Sometimes, antibiotics can actually make you feel worse. Antibiotics are generally quite safe, but they do carry some risk, says Daniel Knecht, MD, MBA, VP of clinical strategy and policy for Aetna. They may cause diarrhea, allergic reactions and various other side effects. Its something to keep in mind if youre tempted to take unnecessary antibiotics just in case.

I Have An Egg Allergy

The Dos and Donts for Taking Antibiotics

Some flu vaccinations are made using eggs which can be dangerous to people who have an egg allergy as the vaccine may contain egg proteins, says Macnair.

This doesnt always mean that people who have an allergy to eggs cant have the vaccine.

“Some newer vaccines are not made with eggs and can be given to people with egg allergies. Make sure you tell the doctor or nurse giving you the flu vaccine that you are allergic to eggs. They can then give you a vaccine which does not contain egg proteins,” she explains.

“If you have a severe egg allergy you may need to have the flu vaccine in hospital where any reaction can be quickly managed.”

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Should I Be Worried About Myocarditis Or Pericarditis Following Covid

There have been rare reports of inflammation of the heart following vaccination with the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines . Most of the reported cases have been among male adolescents and young adults and have occurred within several days following the second dose of the vaccine. Most patients with myocarditis and pericarditis who received care responded well to medicine and rest and quickly recovered.

If you have any of these symptoms within a week after COVID-19 vaccination, seek medical care:

Chest pain

What About Other Medications

This completely depends on the type of medication. With most drugs, you are fine to get your flu shot. However, certain drugs can interact with the vaccine medications, including certain steroids and immune-suppressing drugs. Your doctor can give you advice based on the specific drugs youre on. They can also help you weigh the pros and cons of getting the flu shot with a pre-existing condition.

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What Is The Purpose Of My Covid

The COVID-19 vaccination card is simply a medical record to help keep track of which type of vaccine you received, when you received it, and when you are due for another dose if necessary. You should keep your vaccination record in a safe place, as with all medical records. It is a good idea to make a copy of the vaccination card and keep the copy secure as well. Avoid carrying the card in your wallet to prevent losing it. Laminating the card is not necessary, and can make it difficult to add booster doses. If you lose your card, contact the site where you received your vaccine or your local health department for a replacement.

You Already Got Your Shot For The Year

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The CDC recommends that you get your flu shot by the end of October so you’re prepared for the start of flu season. However, if you don’t get your flu vaccination within this timeframe, it’s not too late. Dr. Monique May, MD, advises, “Since it takes about 2 weeks for the flu shot to take effect, the latest I would recommend would be February to March.”

Keep in mind, you only need to get one flu vaccine annually. If you have already obtained your flu shot, you won’t need to get it again until next year. Once the vaccine is in your system, another shot won’t increase your immunity to the illness.

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